The FATF (Financial Action Task Force) is currently auditing Malta’s anti-money laundering jurisdiction, which could impact sports betting regulations in the country.
Two years ago, Malta failed its review from Moneyval, the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering expert committee. It was given a list of reforms to make, which FATF was then tasked with reviewing to ensure compliance.
Tackling money laundering through sports betting
If Malta does not pass this latest audit, then it will be placed on a list of untrustworthy jurisdictions. One of the biggest stumbling blocks that the country has come across so far is its veto on a specific EU sports betting regulation.
Malta may need to revoke this veto if it wants to pass the FATF review. However, doing so could significantly impact the sports betting industry. It would prevent licenced iGaming operators from offering their services abroad unless they adhered to the rules in other member states as well as their own.
For the past seven years, Malta has disputed the EU’s definition of illegal sports betting because it would make offshore sports betting illegal if the consumer’s state laws didn’t match the operator’s state laws.
Operators may be unable to provide offshore services
The country argues that its national legislation, law enforcement, sporting bodies, and the Malta Gaming Authority’s sports integrity unit are more than enough to prevent money laundering through sports betting. However, continuing to contest the EU definition could significantly jeopardise Malta’s chances of passing the FATF review.
FATF will make its very first decision regarding the country’s anti-money laundering jurisdiction on June 15th. Until then, Malta’s iGaming operators wait with bated breath.