Malta-based gaming companies have been revealed as the biggest offenders in the UK, with the country’s Gambling Commission CEO Neil McArthur slamming Malta’s compliance as simply “not good enough”.
Delivering stinging criticism at the ARQ Compliance Conference at the Westin in St Julian’s, Neil McArthur unveiled some key findings of his commission’s report into compliance.
Just under half of the 45 operators asked to complete an action plan where based in Malta, as were five of the seven who faced massive fines from the British regulator.
Meanwhile, three companies had their UK gambling licenses completely revoked.
“In a nutshell, what we have found as we undertake compliance activity has not been good enough.”
“The Commission is clear that although progress has been made in the regulation of the online market since 2014, far more needs to be done to raise standards.
“So let today be the start of a fresh commitment: a commitment to raise standards and to collaborate with us to make more progress more quickly. In return, the Commission commits that we stand ready to help in these efforts. But, rest assured, we also remain ready when needed to take enforcement action,” McArthur said.
Malta-based companies currently hold the largest market share of the UK online gaming market, accounting for close to 30% of the total, with the industry exploding since the introduction of the tax rebate system.
The lack of compliance in Malta has drawn the ire of several EU countries, with Sweden notably completely clamping down on cowboy operators.
The effects have been felt, with several Malta-based companies axing their staff amid a restructuring plan to combat the clampdown.