MGA makes Player Protection Directive amendments
In a bid to reduce players’ risk rates and promote safer gambling practices, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has undertaken significant revisions to its Player Protection Directive (Directive 2 of 2018).
As a result, the Malta regulator has demanded that its licensed operators are now required to monitor certain “markers of harm” when developing systems to identify and resolve problem gaming situations.
The MGA stated that creating a secure gambling environment is an essential component of building a profitable and thriving industry. Therefore, the regulator will use the reviews it obtained during a recent targeted assessment process to help design a better future for the industry operating within its domain.
“We believe that safe, sustainable, and responsible gaming is of paramount importance to the gaming sector. Following feedback received through the dedicated consultation process, the Authority is hereby publishing these amendments with the aim of strengthening and clarifying the current player protection framework,” MGA stated.
In accordance with the new regulations, B2C licensees must use logical procedures and methods to spot potential problem gamblers. This needs to be accomplished with the help of qualified personnel and analytical tools or behavior monitoring systems. Once a pattern of problem gambling has been identified, the license holder must take the necessary action to mitigate the issue.
The new regulations include increased requirements for staff training when handling scenarios where intervention may be necessary, in addition to making sure that MGA license holders routinely monitor player behavior and funds.
All employees are tasked with paying close attention to players’ characteristics so that they can deduce if a person is gambling impulsively. Hence, trained staff would watch out if a player was agitated or exhibiting other worrying signs.
“B2C licensees shall ensure that employees who are responsible for dealing with responsible gaming-related matters and for player interaction in general are properly and routinely trained in the relevant responsible gaming procedures,” states the directive.
Another alteration to license-holder requirements says that players must be reminded that they are betting with real money. To get this in place, the MGA has requested that operators ensure they display the account balances of players.
The Malta regulator stated that gamblers must have “the ability to access the player’s gambling history of the immediately preceding six months, including but not limited to, data relating to the player’s total wins and losses, amounts of money deposited, and amounts withdrawn”.
The Player Protection Directive overhaul also included an instruction that B2C online operators must give players the option to set an alarm using a pop-up notification for play in repetitive games of chance.