The 2023 National Risk Assessment (NRA) in Malta has classified remote gaming and land-based gaming as having a ‘medium’ residual threat for money laundering. The NRA takes into account the levels of money laundering and terrorist financing risk in Malta, and for the first time, has also included proliferation financing and targeted financial sanctions in its assessment.
The report was developed in collaboration with the National Coordinating Committee on Combatting Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism (NCC), along with government authorities. Threats are classified based on impact, likelihood, and threat level, with the use of virtual financial assets, cash, and prepaid cards as payment methods being identified as part of the money laundering threat in Malta.
The NRA has identified customer-related vulnerabilities as a major concern for the remote gaming industry in Malta, with these vulnerabilities classified as having the highest ratings possible across the board. For remote gaming, the impact of licensed operators being controlled by criminals is deemed as ‘severe’, with a ‘medium-high’ threat level.
In terms of recommendations for anti-money laundering (AML) measures, the NRA suggests that both remote gaming and land-based gaming sectors should enhance their risk-based approach, update customer risk profiles periodically, and maintain risk-based customer due diligence procedures. They should also monitor their transaction monitoring systems to detect any emerging risks.
The release of the report comes at a time when the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has been actively revoking licenses. In January alone, the MGA has cancelled five licenses, including those of Super7Plus, Winners Malta Operations, Genesis Global, Rush Gaming, and Betago Limited.
Overall, the 2023 NRA in Malta sheds light on the money laundering threats facing the gaming industry and provides recommendations for mitigating these risks. This assessment will likely guide the efforts of regulatory authorities and gaming operators in implementing effective AML measures moving forward.