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Second largest gaming jurisdiction, Malta, refutes Swedish EU gambling report

23/12/2009
While Malta's position on the Swedish Gambling Report remains contrarian, the Malta Lotteries & Gaming Authority believes that Malta should not be affected. Seeing that Malta has already taken great care and pride in making sure that excellent measures are already in place, Malta has absolutely nothing to worry about. The Malta gaming board added that there could be improvement on a European level if the Commission continues to enforce community provisions, review of national legislation and adequate communication between the regulators and the sector itself, ‘…but government-run monopolies are not the solution to responsible gaming as this report seems to indicate.
 
A “progress report” that was drawn up by the Swedish presidency on the regulation of the gambling industry in the Member states has stirred some comments from the Maltese gambling industry. The main query is that the report does not reflect the opinion of the EU as a whole, but rather only that of the Swedish presidency. The Maltese gaming regulatory authority, the Lotteries & Gaming Authority, has outright disagreed with the report.
 
The report stresses the importance of respecting subsidiarity and insinuates that better regulation will be achieved with government-run monopolies. The measures it proposes include the tightening of registration criteria and the introduction of binding measures to encourage responsible gaming. The LGA has reported that what the Swedish report failed to address is that countries such as Malta already operate an open, regulated market which has all these situations under firm control.
 
Amidst fears that such report could have a negative effect on Malta’s multi-million industry, the LGA believes that Malta should not be affected. Seeing that Malta has already taken great care and pride in making sure that excellent measures are already in place, Malta has absolutely nothing to worry about. There could be improvement on a European level if the Commission continues to enforce community provisions, review of national legislation and adequate communication between the regulators and the sector itself, ‘…but government-run monopolies are not the solution to responsible gaming as this report seems to indicate’ the LGA spokesman said.
 
The report will be presented to EU competitiveness ministers later on this week.
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