A record financial penalty has been imposed on a local company by the Malta Gambling Regulator to offer game services without consent.
Last Thursday, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) stated that the Blackrock Media Ltd had a record €2.34 million penalty inflicted on them following a settlement agreement with the MGA for
“operating a gaming service through a Maltese legal entity without being in possession of the necessary authorization.”
The notice further said that a joint probe by the MGA and Malta’s Executive Police concluded that Blackrock was
“processing payments to and from players as part of a gaming service which was never duly authorized.”
Malta Nowaday reported that Blackrock Media owns the Curacao-licensed Wild Sultan online casino brand Blackrock Entertainment N.V. Anthony Debono was identified as the director of Blackrock Media.
Malta’s Parliamentary Finance Secretary Silvio Schembri published a declaration stating “a sure sign” of penalty being taken seriously by the MGA. Schembri claimed also that the sanction was demonstrated by the government of the Council of Europe’s MONEYVAL anti-money laundering body’s commitment to implement last year’s report recommendations.
This report claimed that
“limited human and financial resources have a negative impact on Malta’s ability to conduct money laundering activities.”
This report was suspected. The report also noted that Malta
“is ineffective, dissuasive, and proportionate for not submitting beneficial ownership information to legal persons.”
MONEYVAL invited Malta, back in December 2020, to report on its advancements in the improvement of its AML procedure.
In the other news in MGA, Zero Seven Gaming Ltd., which operates the daily sports fantasy site Sport.guru in Germany, was suspended by a regulator on 30 December. The MGA said that Zero Seven had not paid license fees or submitted a players money report, and MGA thought it had “lost funding for the company.”