Malta Gaming Authority Launches Suspicious Betting Reporting Platform

  • MGA launched its Suspicious Betting Reporting Mechanism for B2C Malta-licensed sportsbooks
  • The official start date will be January 1, 2021, though a beta period has already launched
  • MGA wants better systems and solutions for monitoring gambling activities and compliance
  • Match-fixing in sports is a serious issue across Europe
Closeup of person's hand rejecting money
The Malta Gaming Authority has launched the beta period of its new platform for operators to report suspicious betting activity. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Official launch in five weeks

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has launched a beta version of a new online platform that will allow sports betting operators to report suspicious betting activity. This new Suspicious Betting Reporting Mechanism (SBRM) is a key part of the MGA’s 2020 roadmap. 

need to report suspicious betting to the MGA through a specific portal

One of the obligations as part of the MGA’s “Consultation Feedback & Guidance Paper in relation to Suspicious Betting Reporting Requirements & Other Sports Integrity Matters” is that B2C Malta-licensed sports betting operators need to report suspicious betting to the MGA through a specific portal.

Though the official launch date is January 1, 2021, the beta version of SBRM was ready for sports betting operators to use as of November 23. The aim of this early launch is to prepare for a smoother transition and allow for any necessary changes before the official obligation date.

The MGA has published guidance for the registration and submission of suspicious betting activities on the new SBRM platform. 

Improving integrity systems

The gambling regulator wants to continue to expand its systems and solutions to monitor gambling compliance and activities. Along with the launch of the SBRM, the MGA has signed data-sharing partnerships with World Snooker, the Swedish Football Association, and the International Cricket Council this year in an attempt to boost its sports integrity network. 

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) previously formally warned the MGA that it needs to introduce more coherent legislation regarding its sports integrity technical systems. It has, however, endorsed the new SBRM.

There were three critical areas on which the IBIA wanted the MGA to provide clarity for operators. These concerned customer disputes about suspicious betting, operator engagements with global monitoring bodies, and betting integrity policy engagement with operators.

Growing problem

Match-fixing in sports is a serious issue that the authorities across Europe are trying to stop. In the third quarter of 2020, match-fixing alerts at the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) more than doubled.

most of the alerts were for soccer games

There were a total of 452 alerts, with 44 of them needing further investigation. Most of the alerts were for soccer games, followed by basketball and tennis. The vast majority of the alerts came from Europe. 

GLMS president Ludovico Calvi believes that there could be increasing instances of match-fixing as a result of the financial impact of COVID-19. A recent report from Europol stated that crime groups in Europe make about €120m ($142.5m) from match-fixing every year.