Over the past few months, Malta has continued to crack down on gaming providers and operators that do not meet the state’s minimum requirements. Last Thursday, Star World Limited became the most recent operator to have its license revoked by MGA (Malta Gaming Authority). For the company, this revocation implies that they will have to look for other countries to set up their business.
Gambling rules have witnessed tremendous evolution in various regions across the world, thanks to new technologies and dynamics in the industry. States are amending regulations that accommodate new online gaming platforms, virtual slot and technologies operators. They have been forced to adapt emerging laws quickly to remain in business. Only recently, The Stars Group (TSG), owner of the infamous live gaming brand, Pokerstars, had to lay off close to a third of the staff in their Malta subsidiaries.
Elsewhere, The Malta Group (TSG), lost to half of their employees, following what the company termed as redundancies. Another major gaming provider Evolution Gaming pulled off their services from 16 operators following a directive from local gambling authorities.
Like in many other cases, MGA cited “serious violation” as the main reason for revoking Star World Limited’s license. The government authority firmly stated that the company’s license had been terminated effectively and immediately. In their official statement, MGA stated that Star World Limited was no longer authorized to carry out any gaming operations in the Island. This includes registering new players, accepting new deposits from customers, and providing their gaming services. However, the company is still required to allow account access to all registered players. This is to ensure proper refund of all funds in user accounts according to all applicable laws.
Contrary to initial thought, Star World violated not one but three gaming laws under the gaming act chapter 583 of the Malta law. Their violations included failing to make due payments to MGA, failing to make scheduled payments to players and failure to ensure the integrity of vital regulatory data. MGA offered typical specifics.
Although the recent license revocation means Star World has to take their operations elsewhere, this was not the first time the company came under fire by the MGA. In 2017, they had their license suspended over suspected violations. The citer has also, on numerous occasions, been called out by the gaming community for the unorthodox business practices. They have received several complaints from players, the vast majority protesting after their rightful winnings were confiscated without reason.
Apparently, Star World is notorious for not issuing payouts to their customers. Gaming regulators in various countries are starting to clamp down on operators and companies that are yet to comply with existing laws fully. Legislators across the globe also continue to come up with new provisions to guarantee the sustainability of the modern gaming industry. This ensures a safe, manageable eco-system for both premise-based casinos and online platforms. It is upon companies and operators in the gambling industry to fulfil all government requirements or risk to lose their market share.