As one of the most lucrative jurisdictions in the EU for gambling, Malta has gotten the attention of many operators. The country’s tax rate combined with its EU membership makes it an attractive destination for gambling operators. Currently, the gambling industry in the country is regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).
Despite the growing gambling market in Malta, the country has seen quite a few scandals related to the regulator lately. Back in January, MGA’s CEO Heathcliff Farrugia faced charges for trading influence with Yorgen Fenech, an infamous businessman and casino owner in the country.
Malta Regulator Fires Executive
Now, another scandal is underway and it is once again related to the MGA. Earlier this month, Jason Farrugia, who served as a chief technology officer at the MGA was suspended. After that, on Thursday last week, the regulator announced that it decided to terminate his employment. In a statement, the MGA said that Farrugia is no longer representing the Authority.
“The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) hereby declares that Jason Farrugia, formerly chief technology officer within the MGA, no longer has any connection to the MGA and can no longer represent it or speak on its behalf,”reads a statement released by the MGA
What is more worrying is why Farrugia was fired. According to the media outlet The Times of Malta that cited sources within the MGA, Farrugia allegedly misused sensitive internal information. Consequently, the former chief technology officer’s case was forwarded to the police.
MGA’s Former Chief Officer Technology Was Caught “Red-Handed”
Currently, a branch of the police that specializes in financial crime investigation is leading the case against Farrugia. Allegedly, the MGA has caught Farrugia “red-handed” which resulted in his termination and the criminal investigation.
Claims state that the former chief technology officer allegedly transferred confidential information from the authority’s servers to personal devices. The criminal investigation is yet to determine if and how was that sensitive data used by Farrugia. The former chief technology officer hasn’t released an official statement on the topic. Further details regarding the investigation itself are yet to be released as well.
Considering that this is not the first scandal related to the regulator in Malta, it is yet to be determined if the MGA will take proactive measures to restrict such occurrences. In that line of thought, in June this year, Malta was graylisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in light of the increasing number of financial crimes in the country. This made Malta the first EU country on FATF’s list. Again in June, Romania became the second country to make it to FATF’s gray list.