The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) recently played host to the Gaming Regulators European Forum’s (GREF) 2024 conference, held from May 20 to May 22. This event was a landmark occasion that brought together gaming regulators from over 25 countries, providing a robust platform for addressing industry challenges and sharing invaluable insights.

This year’s GREF conference was especially noteworthy as it marked the first time regulators from other continents were in attendance. This inclusion broadened the scope of discussions, infusing the conference with a global perspective that enriched the dialogue on various regulatory issues.

The conference agenda was packed with critical topics that are at the forefront of the gaming industry’s regulatory landscape:

  1. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Code: The MGA’s ESG code was a central topic, focusing on how gaming companies can operate responsibly and sustainably.
  2. Responsible Gambling: Strategies for promoting responsible gambling practices and protecting players were heavily discussed.
  3. Digital Innovation: The role of technology in transforming the gaming industry and the regulatory challenges it poses.
  4. International Gambling Regulation Perspectives: A comparative look at how different jurisdictions approach gaming regulation.
  5. Anti-Money Laundering (AML): Best practices and collaborative efforts to combat money laundering in the gaming sector.
  6. Geographical Approaches to Gambling: How regional differences influence regulatory practices and policies.

GREF Chairperson Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin kicked off the conference with a compelling speech emphasizing the necessity of collaboration among regulators. She stated, “European regulators cannot be isolated, apart from the other actors. Even if we have specific and unique responsibilities, we need to work with others to propose effective regulation.”

MGA CEO Charles Mizzi echoed this sentiment in his welcome address to the delegates. He noted, “The complexity of the industry demands collaborative efforts. With various stakeholders, including operators, technology providers, and government bodies – all playing critical roles – collaboration allows us to leverage the diverse expertise and perspectives to develop comprehensive and effective regulatory frameworks.”

The conference saw over 90 participants from regulatory bodies worldwide. It served as a vital platform for networking and collaboration, aiming to reinforce the importance of a unified approach to gaming regulation. Participants had the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions, share best practices, and establish connections that could foster future collaboration.

The MGA’s hosting of GREF 2024 follows several significant regulatory actions that underscore its commitment to maintaining industry compliance:

  • Tipbet’s Operating Authorization Cancelled: Under the Gaming Compliance and Enforcement Regulations, the MGA recently canceled Tipbet’s operating authorization. This action required Tipbet to suspend all gaming operations, refund player balances, and settle outstanding fees. This decision is part of the MGA’s ongoing efforts to enforce regulatory compliance within the gaming industry.
  •  Super7plus and Rush Gaming Authorizations: Earlier in the year, the MGA also canceled the authorization awarded to Super7plus and suspended Rush Gaming’s authorization. These actions highlight the authority’s proactive stance in ensuring that all operators adhere to stringent regulatory standards.

The GREF 2024 conference hosted by the MGA in Malta was more than just an event; it was a significant milestone in the journey towards a more collaborative and effective regulatory environment for the gaming industry. By bringing together regulators from across the globe, the conference facilitated a richer exchange of ideas and fostered a sense of unity and shared purpose.

As the gaming industry continues to evolve, the importance of such collaborative efforts cannot be overstated. The MGA’s leadership in hosting this conference, coupled with its ongoing regulatory actions, demonstrates its unwavering commitment to fostering a responsible, fair, and sustainable gaming environment. For industry professionals, event organizers, and business leaders, the insights and connections gained from GREF 2024 will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future of gaming regulation.

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