Malta Looks to Root Out Italian Mafia Influence in Online Gambling

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The Government of Malta is looking to aggressively pursuit online gambling companies it deems to have ties to Italy's Mafia.

As the world's largest Web gambling hub, Malta's regulator fears the influence organized crime might have on the explosive sector.

Malta Gaming Authority executive chairman Joseph Cuschieri said this past week that actions against said businesses will be intensified in the wake of “several reports from Italy”.

“We have very strict and transparent rules, and we immediately launch investigations every time the Italian authorities report suspicions against gaming companies, even though we don’t have the investigation capacity of the police and the judiciary,” Cuschieri said. “We collaborate with the Italian authorities constantly and in a timely manner, and there is mutual respect between us.”

The current concerns seem only to focus on Italian-owned iGaming companies. 

“We have problems only with Italians, who are now managing less than ten licences out of 200,” an unnamed Maltese official told the website. “Italy is becoming highly risky for our reputation, as very often we must face public scandals founded on the connection between Italian entrepreneurs and the mafia. The cancellation of a licence is always possible, because it is a privilege and not a right. If in our investigation we discover any business not provided by the licence, we are going to revoke it.”

Malta plays host to one of the industry's leading online affiliate conferences, SiGMA.

- Jagajeet Chiba,

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