Malta has been making headlines for being lax in implementing anti-money laundering measures especially in regards to its casino gambling industry.
Recently, the chief of the UK Gambling Commission revealed that the majority of the offenders in the country are Malta-based gambling operators.
However, this did not come across nicely to Malta’s junior minister for financial services, Silvio Schembri. Lashing out at the UKGC Chief, the minister said that “The Malta Gaming Authority is doing a sterling job. Our duty as politicians is that we give all the necessary tools, by enhancing legislation and helping regulatory bodies as MGA to monitor and sanction were needed. This is what we are doing, and what we will continue to do in the future.”
Slamming Maltese authorities for being lax in implementing stricter controls and anti-money laundering measures, UKGC chief Neil McArthur had said that the Gambling Commission was clear that although progress had been made in the regulation of the online market since 2014, far more needs to be done to raise standards.
About 50 percent of the operators asked to complete an action plan by the UKGC were Malta-based. Also, five of the seven gambling operators fined by the regulator were headquartered in Malta.
Earlier in September this year, Moneyval, which is a prominent Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, said that Malta needs to do more to rein in the syndicates which are involved with financial crimes including money-laundering and terrorist financing.
In its report, charging the Maltese government, Moneyval said that they need to do more to ensure there is no money laundering in their banking and online gambling industry in particular.