The Maltese gaming industry is the latest problem jurisdiction to be greylisted by a global money laundering watchdog. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) believes the country requires “enhanced monitoring” as a result of weak measures in place to tackle money laundering.
Major financial repercussions
The move will have a dramatic impact on Malta’s finances. Government sources reportedly described a sense of panic amongst political, regulatory, and law enforcement bosses in the country as the news broke.
Prime Minister Robert Abela labelled the decision as “unjust”. He did, however, insist that the government respect the decision. He also added that they will work together with the relevant bodies to remedy any inadequacies in their igaming strategy.
The latest scandal to hit the island
This news is the latest scandal to hit the island. Earlier this year, concerns were raised about Malta’s regulation of cryptocurrency and its refusal to adhere to an EU-based definition of sports betting.
A number of senior politicians and regulators were also hit with allegations from iGaming European Network (iGEN). They argued the “actions of the few” had “a negative impact” on the igaming reputation on the island.
What happens next?
iGEN chairman, Enrico Bradamante, said that the gaming industry would face “gradual” fallout from the FATF decision. Gaming companies based on the island are expected to be amongst the worst affected.
Malta has opposed the decision with fears it could prevent a number of igaming operators from operating within a number of jurisdictions.
A spokesman for FATF added: “The FATF plenary discussions are still ongoing. The meeting comes to an end on Friday. The press conference on Friday will make announcements regarding the plenary’s decisions.”