Board of Governors

Members of the Board of Governors are appointed by the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services & Digital Economy. The Board of Governors is primarily responsible for overseeing the strategic development of the Authority and ensuring that the set policy and strategic objectives are achieved. The Board is also responsible for policy development, overall risk management and is also consulted by Government on policy matters.

The Board of Governors is currently composed of the following persons:

Chairperson (Acting) - Heathcliff Farrugia
Deputy Chairperson - Ryan Pace
Caesar Grech
Juliana Scerri Ferrante
Roberto Francalanza
Ruth Trapani Galea Feriol
Board Secretary - Adrian Caruana

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee, is primarily responsible for the execution of the Authority’s overall strategic vision, as directed by the Board of Governors. It is responsible for the day-to-day operation and management functions of the MGA as well as the implementation of the Authority’s programmes and policies.

The MGA’s Executive Committee is made up of the following members:

Heathcliff Farrugia is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). He is specialised in business management, operational efficiencies, strategic planning, and regulation; and holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Leicester, UK. Throughout his professional career, he held various senior executive positions both within the private and the public sector. In 2014, Heathcliff joined the Gaming Authority in the role of Chief Operations Officer (COO), and was pivotal in the transformation process which the Authority underwent. He held this position for two years, up until he moved to the Regulatory department to hold the role of Chief Regulatory Officer (CRO) in 2016. In this role he was responsible for all Regulatory aspects of the Authority, with four teams focusing on Regulatory Supervision, Authorisations, Compliance and Player Support respectively.

At the same time, he was also a member of the Supervisory Council, and co-chaired the Fit & Proper Committee, entrusted with the assessment of the fit and properness of the individuals and companies applying for a MGA licence. Heathcliff was a board member on the Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF), where he is now a member.

Prior to joining the MGA, Heathcliff spent the largest part of his career in the telecoms industry, specifically with Vodafone Malta, where he occupied various managerial positions. In 2013, Heathcliff was also appointed Customer Value Management (CVM) Manager for Vodafone Italy in Milan where he was responsible for the overall planning and strategy within the Consumer Department.

Karl Brincat Peplow is the Chief Officer Authorisations at the MGA. He is responsible for the Authorisations and Player Support departments. Karl also forms part of the Supervisory Council, and the Fit & Proper Committee, which is entrusted with the assessment of the fit and properness of the individuals and companies applying for a MGA licence. Karl has joined the Authority in 2009, as Systems and Financial Auditor, and then proceeded to occupy the positions of Authorisations Manager and Head of Authorisations respectively, prior to being appointed Chief Officer Authorisations.

He possesses an Honours Degree in Information Systems Management from the University of London, and is also a Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) and a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM). Both certifications were issued by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) where he was a member of the Board for three years. Prior to joining the MGA Karl held various positions within the telecommunications industry, specifically within the IT Security and Design sphere.

Rebekah Duca is the Chief Officer Compliance at the MGA. She joined the Authority in 2011, as a Licensee Relationship Executive and then proceeded to occupy the positions of Systems and Financial Auditor, Authorisations Manager and Head of Regulatory Supervision and Compliance prior to being appointed Chief Officer Compliance. Currently, she is responsible for the supervisory aspect of all MGA licensees. Rebekah heads the Compliance team, the AML team, the Regulatory Supervision function, and the Land-Based team. She is also a member of the Supervisory Council, Commercial Communications Committee and the Fit & Proper Committee within the MGA.

Rebekah holds a Bachelor Degree in Science (Business and Computing) and a Master in Business Administration (e-business) from the University of Malta. She is also a Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) and has served as a member of the Board of the Malta Chapter of ISACA for six years where she is the current president.

Peter Spiteri is the Chief Officer – Finance & Programme Management at the MGA. Peter is an ACCA qualified accountant with almost 10 years’ experience in the finance sector. He started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he worked in the Corporate Administration Services department. He then moved to Deutsche Bank (Malta) as Head of Finance, where he was responsible for the overall finance function in Malta. At the MGA, he is responsible for the overall finance function of the Authority namely, revenue assurance, tax compliance, corporate finance, treasury, financial planning and control, management accounts and reporting, as well as procurement. He is also responsible for programme delivery as well as for the overall knowledge and strategic information management of the Authority.

Christopher Formosa is the Chief Operations Officer at the MGA. In his role, Christopher is responsible for the overall management and development of the Human Resources function with a focus on maintaining an employee-oriented, high performance culture which emphasises quality, productivity, and goal attainment including the ongoing training and development of the Authority’s employees. Moreover, Christopher is responsible for facilities management, health & safety and security, all internal and external communications, as well as public and media relations. He is also responsible for the Inspectorate Operations Department and the Criminal Probity Screening Department respectively.

Christopher started his career as an Executive Secretary within a local council.  He was then appointed Head of Operations with the CHOGM Malta 2015 Taskforce within the Office of the Prime Minister where he was directly involved in the different functions and activities of the Task Force both at planning and execution stage.  He was also selected as the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Forum organising Committee where he was responsible for the coordination of the local team, which involved planning all the logistical arrangements associated with the forum.

Christopher holds a Master of Arts Degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of York.

Carl Brincat is the Chief Legal & Enforcement Officer at the MGA. Carl has been part of the Malta Gaming Authority’s legal team for over five years after three years of training in the field of criminal law. He graduated as a lawyer from the University of Malta in 2014 and was admitted to the bar in 2015.

His main areas of work include providing advice on matters relating to gaming regulation, general legal and regulatory affairs, and dispute resolution. Carl is also heavily involved in the current impetus on innovative technology arrangements and DLT assets in the gaming industry, and is one of the principal drafters of the new gaming regulatory framework in Malta.

Antiopi Vogiatzi is the Chief Risk Officer at the MGA and her duties encompass the development and overall management of the Risk Management function with the primary focus to support the Authority in developing and maintaining a risk-based approach to its operations.

Antiopi is also a member of the MGA’s Supervisory Council, the committee responsible for overseeing the regulatory function of the MGA.

During her previous years with the Authority, Antiopi has worked within the MGA’s Compliance and Enforcement Directorates, where she occupied the positions of Compliance Manager and Head of Investigations respectively. Her main areas of work included monitoring of the licensees’ compliance with gaming laws and regulations through compliance audits and ad-hoc checks, overseeing the carrying out of investigations on suspicious gaming activities, managing of the respective teams and drafting of policies and procedures.

Antiopi is a lawyer by profession, having graduated from the University of Thessaloniki in Greece in 1996 and subsequently admitted to the Athens Bar Association, and has since practiced actively as a legal professional until 2015 when she relocated to Malta.

Her work experience as an attorney-at-law in Athens included litigation and provision of legal services through own practice. She has a vast legal and regulatory background in telecoms, having been employed as an in-house lawyer of Vodafone Greece, where she also served as Anti-Bribery Champion and Compliance Specialist.

Jason Farrugia is the Chief Technology Officer at the MGA. In his role, Jason is responsible for developing, implementing, managing and evaluating the Authority’s technological resources. He is also responsible for overseeing all technical aspects of the Authority by directing all employees to attain the company’s strategic goals established in the Authority’s strategic plan.

Jason joined the Authority in 2011 as a Licensee Relationship Executive, and then proceeded to occupy the positions of Systems Monitoring Executive and Information Systems Manager respectively, prior to being appointed Head – ICT & Records and later as Chief Technology Officer.

He possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Computing and also a Master of Science Degree specialising in Information Security around E-commerce both from the University of Malta. Jason is also a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).

Prior to joining the MGA Jason held various positions within the ICT industry, specifically within the IT software design and systems implementation sphere.

Audit Committee

The role of the Audit Committee is to assist the Board of Governors of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) in ensuring good corporate governance, risk management, oversight of audit/accounting issues and internal controls. Furthermore, the Audit Committee oversees the accounting and reporting processes, the audits of the financial statements, internal audits and internal control systems.

The Audit Committee is authorised to conduct investigations into any matters falling within the scope of its responsibility. The Secretary is responsible for the preparation of the Audit Committee’s agenda in consultation with the Chairman of the Audit Committee and for ensuring that follow ups and actions emanating from the Audit Committee are executed. The Secretary also presents reports to the Committee for discussion and action.

Chairperson - Dean Hili
Kevin Agius
Ruth Trapani Galea Feriol
Marita Pace Dimech
Audit Committee Secretary - Lindsey Gambin

Supervisory Council

The Supervisory Council set up by the Authority’s Board of Governors, has been set up to supervise and review the regulatory objectives of the MGA in the exercise of its functions. The Supervisory Council is responsible for ensuring the integrity, consistency and development of the regulatory functions of the MGA. It is also tasked with providing oversight and guidance in relation to ongoing regulatory issues, strategic regulation and act as an advisory committee to the Authority’s Board and management.

The Supervisory Council is made up of the following members:

Chairperson - Rebekah Duca
Deputy Chairperson - Karl Brincat Peplow
Carl Brincat
Yanica Sant
Christabel Calleja
Katrina Pace Bonici Mompalao
Antiopi Vogiatzi
Joseph Attard
James Baldacchino - Secretary

Fit and Proper Committee

The Fit and Proper Committee has been set up by the Authority’s Board to assess and determine whether applicants for a Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) Licence are fit and proper persons, (especially from a criminal probity aspect), to be granted a gaming licence and be authorised to conduct gaming business activities. This committee  decides which entities and personnel should be screened, when to conduct enhanced due diligence, and whether or not existent licensees should continue to conduct gaming business under the Malta licence. It is also tasked with recommending changes in the policies and procedures regarding the fit and properness of operators and individuals, recommend enforcement actions where it deems necessary and also turn down approval requests. The Fit and Proper Committee also evaluates and determines any changes in the risk assessment of licensed operators and may impose licence conditions at its own discretion.

Compliance & Enforcement Committee

The Compliance and Enforcement Committee was set up in  July 2019 and is primarily responsible for evaluating breaches of the Gaming Act (Chapter 583 of the Laws of Malta) and the regulatory instruments issued thereunder. The Committee is composed of seven members pertaining to different directorates of the Authority, to reflect the various issues which are escalated for the consideration of the Committee. The examination of breaches by the Committee is carried out in accordance with the Guiding Principles for the Application of Enforcement Measures, in order to ensure that enforcement measures are imposed in an appropriate and proportionate manner.