MGA Release 20 Notices Of Regulatory Violations In H1

According to the statistics reported in its Interim Performance Report covering the six months ended 30 June 2020, the MGA released a total of 20 notices of regulatory violations in H1, as well as 11 warnings.

The operators were handed out some nine administrative fines, while the regulator revoked two licences.

Cancelled licenses

BSupporter, Pick Mater, Dorobet, The Daily Fantasy Football Company and Watch World Luxury, a Malta-based watch retailer, were among the operators that had their licences cancelled in H1.

Blackrock Media agreed to pay a penalty of EUR 2.3 million (£ 2.0 million/$ 2.8 million) for running a gaming service without the required authorisation with respect to financial settlements.

Online gambling figures

Online gambling figures for the time were also included in the study, with some 303 licences given. A total of 196 were gaming licenses from B2C, while 111 were critical supply licenses from B2B.

The number of online active player accounts rose to 17.2m by 11.8 percent year-on-year, while new active player accounts have increased to 7.6m by 12.3 percent.

With 77.4 percent of gaming revenue generated by these games in H1, slots were the most common form of online gambling for type 1 games, compared to 18.4 percent for table games and 4.2 percent for other games.

Football wagering accounts for 74.8% of revenue

In the era, some 74.8 percent of online sports betting revenue came from football wagering, while peer-to-peer poker was by far the most common type 3 form of gaming, accounting for 90.8 percent of this category’s revenue.

During the half-year period, the MGA raised EUR 24.6 million in online gambling revenue, the highest six-month total since the second half of 2018, when licensees paid EUR 24.9 million.

In terms of land-based gaming, casinos were hit as a result of the novel coronavirus virus leading to the temporary closure of facilities (Covid-19). Player visits dropped to 192,351 by 54.6 percent year-on-year, while new player registrations dropped to 26,176 by 64.1 percent.

In the first half, land-based casinos paid a total of EUR 3.9m in revenue, less than half of the EUR 8.0m contributed in the same timeframe in 2019.

Regulated gaming premises take a hit

Due to Covid-19 initiatives, regulated gaming premises also took a hit in H1, with player visits down 39.3 percent and tax contributions falling 42.0 percent. Commercial bingo player visits have fell 54.1 percent to 38,190, down 52.3 percent to €118,344 with tax payments.

In terms of Malta’s National Lottery, revenues dropped 36.5 percent year-on-year to EUR 30.7 million in H1, with Covid-19 closures again hampering operations. A total of EUR 4.0 million was collected from National Lottery activities in gaming tax, down 34.4 percent from 2019.

Analysing the industry’s performance in the market as a whole, MGA reported that, by the end of H1, a total of 313 companies were involved, operating under 318 licences. Some 8,009 individuals in the sector were employed-7,196 online and 813 in land-based gaming-and operators paid € 33.7 million in tax, down 16.3 percent year-on-year.