Online gambling operators licensed in Malta broke their record for STR – suspicious transaction reports – in 2019. These operators are also track to break the said record for this 2020.
Recently, Financial Intelligence Action Unit (FIAU) of Malta released its STR report issued in 2019 by MGA’s (Malta Gaming Authority) remote gaming licensees. The reports were submitted to CASPAR the Compliance and Supervision Platform for Assessing Risk used by FIAU. This platform is a must for all MGA’s remote licensees as they are all required to register on it.
In 2019, FIAU had more than 1,445 STRs from various online operators. This figure is more than twice the number submitted in 2018. This is also more than three times the number it received in 2017.
In May 2020, the regulator got more than 741 STRs, which puts this year on track to break it’s record in 2019.
About a third (exactly 32 percent) of the STRs 2019 were submitted by only 3 companies. Another 35 percent were submitted by 5 diverse firms. The other 33 percent of STRs were submitted by 72 companies, as 29 online licensees filed one STR each. Just over a quarter (26 percent) of licensees submitted no STR in 2019
About half (46 percent) of STRs were submitted due to transactions unexplained transactions or it was not consistent with the recognized customer profile. In other cases, they featured oddly large deposits, were exceedingly complex, had chargebacks or there was a noticeable disparity between beneficiaries and the receiver’s bank accounts.
Customer behaviour – not being cooperative when asked for documentation/details or stopping contact abruptly came second with 21 percent of STRs. This was followed by documentation problems, while verification process and documentation coming next at 16 percent. Adverse media (3 percent) and transfers from or to high-risk jurisdictions (2%) were also in the top-five.
About a third (32 percent) of STRs involved figures below €10,000, while 22 percent ranged from €100,000 to €1 million. Some 36 STRs involved figures beyond €1 million.
Of the STRs (1,445) gotten in 2019, the FIAU handed out 1,096 unprompted intelligence reports to its fellow counterparts in other nations.
The FIAU also said it is considering it more appropriate to dole out such notices instead of conducting probes in Malta because to
“the strong international element that is evident in most of these cases, with the only link to Malta being the remote gaming account with the Maltese-licensed entity.”