The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) participated in a conference organized by the Council of Europe and UEFA. The meeting, which was developed in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee and INTERPOL, tackled the topic of the emerging use of social media platforms in match-fixing. The conference was held on October 19 in Strasbourg, France.
Entitled “Sports Competitions Manipulation in the digital era: better addressing it together”, the conference focused on the misuse of social media platforms in contacting players and referees for match-fixing purposes.
The event brought together the Group of Copenhagen’s National Platforms, the sport movement, public authorities, data brokers and social media representatives to learn about and exchange knowledge on recent trends in sports competitions manipulation.
“As such techniques become increasingly sophisticated, real opportunities are emerging for further discussions and improved prevention efforts,” MGA wrote in a press release.
Antonio Abdilla Zerafa
Antonio Abdilla Zerafa, MLRO and Head of Financial Crime Compliance at the MGA, stated that the Authority’s presence at such fora was important since the regulator “continuously assists” law enforcement and sports regulatory bodies with their investigations into acts of sports competition manipulation through the sharing of intelligence, which includes betting data.
“In this particular conference, it was nice to see social media platforms also being welcomed into the discussion. Personally, I regard this as a milestone as I believe that such platforms have a lot of information that they can bring to the table to help prevent and investigate such crimes,” he added.
Last month, Malta’s Principal Permanent Secretary Tony Sultana visited the MGA’s office at SmartCity. MGA Chairperson Ryan Pace and CEO Carl Brincat discussed the Authority’s strategy with Sultana, and presented ongoing and future projects for the regulator.
His visit came at a time of change for the Authority, which in its recent 2021 report said it is now seeking to take a different approach to regulation, issuing fewer license cancellations and suspensions while making better use of administrative penalties and warnings to discipline licensees.