The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has announced that it will be working in cooperation with the Italian ADM Customs body and with other organisations in an attempt to crack down on the trend of criminal gangs becoming involved with online gambling.
Michele Magro, the MGA General Counsel has confirmed that officials from both the MGA and the ADM had met in Rome to talk about cross border co-operation on regulations, and how to boost information sharing to improve the integrity frameworks in both countries.
There has been widespread criticism from Italian politicians and in the Italian media about the effectiveness of the MGA after a series of damaging revelations emerged from the anti-mafia ‘Glassia’ investigation. Glassia found that Calabrian mafia groups had used MGA licensed sites to effectively launder millions of Euros as part of their criminal activities.
The investigation, which has so far led to the arrest of 51 people and the confiscation of €1 billion, has been described as the biggest money-laundering crackdown in Italian history.
Glassia had a number of consequences, including legislative and regulatory changes in Italy, with the new coalition government ordering the ADM to set up a new registry to monitor industry funding. And speaking about the co-operation between the two countries, Magro said that it was vital that this relationship remained strong going forward:
“It is essential to have a good relationship since we share operators with licenses in both countries and seen also the recent news stories. We exchanged information with the Italian investigative authorities during the investigations in recent months and we will do the same again.”
Magro added that the MGA had cancelled most of the licenses associated with the Glassia investigation and said that the organisation would be happy to extend its co-operation to working with the Italian Financial Police as they continue to work in this sector.