Malta has continued to oppose the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, which effectively, if kept in its current form, will render illegal all operators who offer services via their Maltese gaming licence in other European Union states.
The Convention, which opened for signature in July 2014, aims to prevent, detect, punish and discipline the manipulation of sports competitions, as well as enhance the exchange of information and national and international cooperation between the public authorities concerned, and with sports organisations and sports betting operators.
The crux of the problem centres on the Council of Europe's proposed definition (in the Convention) of the words “illegal sports betting” which currently reads “any sports betting activity whose type or operator is not allowed under the applicable law of jurisdiction where the consumer is located.”
Speaking to a local newspaper on the matter, the Malta Gaming Authority Executive Chairman, Joe Cuschieri, said that this definition could have dire consequences for Malta’s remote gaming industry.
Malta has not yet signed this Convention as, whilst it agrees with the Convention in principle, it will create a very unfair situation to all the Maltese licenced operators. It will also have a negative impact on Malta’s ever-growing gaming industry, which accounts for circa 11% of Malta’s GDP, employs 8,000 people and has contributed €700 million to the Maltese economy as at the end of 2015.