Prevention of Money Laundering
As a European Union member state, Malta has implemented all EU Directives regulating the prevention of money laundering. Furthermore, Malta is part of MONEYVAL (the Select Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures (formerly PC-R-EV), established in September 1997 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to conduct self- and mutual- assessment exercises of the anti-money laundering measures implemented in Council of Europe countries.
Since 1989, casinos based in Malta started introducing specific anti-money laundering (AML) procedures. This process is ongoing with Malta implementing the provisions of Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council or Europe as of 26 October 2005 by means of the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations (S.L. 373.01).
Malta is not listed in any international blacklist of countries which are likely to be used for money laundering activities. Malta actively participates in initiatives adopted at international levels such as by the EU Committee on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, the MONEYVAL Committee of the Council of Europe, the Financial Action Task Force against money laundering and the OECD.
The principal sources of Maltese law on money laundering as a criminal activity and the prevention thereof are two statutory instruments, namely the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (Cap. 373 of the Laws of Malta), augmenting other provisions found in the Criminal Code (Cap. 9 of the Laws of Malta), and the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations. Furthermore, subject persons- which according to legislation means “any person required to maintain internal reporting procedures and to report transactions suspected to involve money laundering or funding of terrorism,” are also required to comply with detailed Implementing Procedures on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism published by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU).
By virtue of the Prevention of Money Laundering Regulations, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the supervisory authority bound to monitor the operation of all its licensees and report to the FIAU any suspected money-laundering or terrorist funding activity. It is the duty of the MGA to issue or renew a licence applied for under the Remote Gaming Regulations (S.L. 438.04) after it is reasonably satisfied that all persons involved in the applicant company are fit and proper persons and after it has ascertained that the applicant has followed policies. The MGA will take affirmative steps to prevent money laundering and other suspicious transactions.
From that point onwards, the applicant is obliged to provide the MGA with the necessary due diligence documents in respect of its key officials, directors and shareholders. The due diligence exercise ensures the suitability of all persons involved in the conduct of gaming operations in and from Malta.
The Remote Gaming Regulations also provide for AML measures, including an obligation on licensees to verify the identity, age and place of residence of a player prior to making a payment in excess of €2,330.
The licensing procedure will meticulously ascertain that the applicant has followed policies and will take affirmative steps, which include the following:
- The Human Resources Roles & Responsibilities document should include the role and responsibilities of the Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO).
- The Human Resources Roles & Responsibilities document should include the role and responsibilities of the Key Official.
- Fraud Management Procedures.
- Know Your Client (KYC) Procedures.
- Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Procedures.
- Payout Management Procedures.
A guideline process for the registration of players and suspicious transaction reporting is depicted below and is considered as a minimum standard by the MGA for the prevention of money laundering and funding of terrorism.
Malta is a reputable hub for financial services committed to deter, detect, and disrupt money deriving from criminal activity and the funding of terrorism and crime.