MGA launches an investigation into Italian licensed gaming companies

Published on February 16, 2018 in Industry News

Italian Casinos MGA NewsWhen it comes to the world of online gambling there are plenty of no-goes. Each and every legit online casino has to be licensed and regulated by some form of gaming authority. 

While this helps give players peace of mind when signing up at a casino it also provides the regions with knowledge of the activities taking place in the online casinos. 
 

Most online casinos steer clear of any illegal activities but there are still some that get involved with the wrong crowds. In cases like this the Gaming Authority is bound to step in and remove the threat.
 

It might be something most players are unaware of but in order to protect the players and run a tight ship that is exactly what the Malta Gaming Authority had to do. 
 

Phoenix International gets license suspended

Earlier this week the Malta Gaming Authority confirmed their investigation on Italian online licensees. The investigation was announced shortly after police-led, anti-Mafia activities started taking place. 

In the first week of February, the MGA made moves to suspend the license of Phoenix International because of links to Italian Benedetto Bacchi. It seems that the MGA will not be taking any chances and aims to remove all possible threats. Bacchi was arrested earlier this year as part of the anti-Mafia effort run by the Italian police. 

According to the police it is believed that Bacchi operated a number of data transmission centres which avoided the Italian gaming authorities and ran free from paying local tax. 

MGA executive Chairman, Joseph Cuschieri, announced that he would like to start collaborating with the Italian Anti-Mafia Commission. He continued to say that the MGA needs to be informed of activity of any Italian gaming companies active in the Maltese market. 
 

Years of intolerance against Mafia activities

When it comes to Mafia activities the MGA has a clear no-nonsense policy. In recent years many gaming licenses were suspended due to believed Mafia activities. 

In 2015 it was reported that the MGA suspended three gaming company licenses when at least one of the companies were suspected of being tied to a Mafia-type organisation known as the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta. 

The mafia group, led by the Italian national, Mario Gennaro, was reported to have set up a number of betting companies as part of their illegal gaming activities in Malta. The license suspensions are focused but not limited to Italian Mafia activities. 

The MGA has also suspended the licenses of operators in Austria, Romania and Spain in recent years due to their suspected participation in a global crime network. 

Most of the online casinos with Mafia or other crime related affiliations take part in illegal activities such as money laundering. 
 

MGA on a mission

The MGA has been known as one of the most prolific gaming authorities that take the rules and regulations quite seriously. Once again, they’ve shown their intolerance against Mafia linked gaming companies as well as any other crime related activities. 

With Phoenix International being the first to lose their license and the MGA only recently launching their investigation it is to be expected that a few more gaming companies will be shutting their virtual doors before the year is over.