With reference to the Notice of Cancellation (the ‘Notice’) dated 04 August 2022 issued by the Malta Gaming Authority (the ‘Authority’), Arabmillionaire Limited (the ‘Authorised Person’) was provided with a twenty-day time period within which it had the right to show cause as to why the Authority should not proceed with the enforcement measure highlighted by said Notice in accordance with reg. 10 (2) (a) of the Gaming Compliance and Enforcement Regulations (S.L. 583.06) (the ‘Regulations’).
Pursuant to the issuance of the Notice, the Authorised Person and its consultants duly informed the Authority that the former was undergoing a major re-structuring exercise and requested, inter alia, to ‘freeze’ the license for the company to finalise and settle all outstanding issues.
Pursuant to the above submissions, and despite the numerous breaches constituting grounds for cancellation of the authorisation, the Authority opted to suspend the Authorised Person’s licence on 12 October 2022 in order to provide the latter with an opportunity to rectify its standing with the Authority.
By virtue of the Suspension, the Authorised Person was clearly informed that the Authority shall proceed to cancel the licence should it fail to remedy its breaches, settle all its outstanding payments to both the Authority and to all its registered players, and provide full assurance that it is in a position to hold the authorisation granted to it and to operate under its terms. It should be noted that the Authorised Person did not appeal the Authority’s decision to suspend the licence.
Despite being granted ample time to address the breaches mentioned above, the Authorised Person has failed to both rectify its position and cooperate with the Authority. All attempts to communicate with the Authorised Person following November 2022 have been rendered futile. The breaches have continued to persist to date.
In addition to the payment of the outstanding licence fee outlined within the Notice, the Authorised Person’s licence fee for the year 2023 fell due on 13 June 2023 during the Suspension’s operative period. Hence, an additional twenty-five thousand Euro (€25,000) is considered due to the Authority in this regard. Therefore, the Authorised Person owes the Authority fifty-thousand Euros (€50,000) in annual licence fees for the licence periods commencing on 13 June 2022 and 13 June 2023, respectively.
Pursuant to the above, the Authority is hereby notifying the Authorised Person that the Authorisation bearing the number ‘MGA/ B2C/425/2017’ (the ‘Authorisation’) is hereby being cancelled in terms of the Regulations. The foregoing decision has been taken pursuant to the grounds mentioned in the aforementioned Notice.
Further to the above considerations, the Authorised Person is hereby being directed to:
- Duly notify the players, if any, of the cancellation of the Authorisation. Such notification should be effected by means of the Authorised Person’s website/s, as well as via electronic mail.
Moreover, such notification shall include, but shall not be limited to, the manner in which such registered players are to withdraw any funds held by the Authorised Person on their behalf;
- Provide the necessary guidance and assistance to the players in relation to the procedures that shall be applied by the Authorised Person further to the remittal of outstanding player balances;
- Further to sections 1 and 2 above, the Authorised Person shall:
a. Where players make a request for the withdrawal of their outstanding balances, endeavour to remit all player funds standing to the credit of such players by not later than five (5) working days from the date upon which a player makes a request to this effect;
Provided that where the players fail to make such request, the Authorised Person shall endeavour to remit all player funds standing to the credit of every player.
Provided further that where possible, outstanding player balances are to be remitted to the same account from which the funds originated.
b. Follow the procedures laid out in the Gaming Authorisations and Compliance Directive (Directive 3 of 2018) with respect to inactive and dormant accounts, including but not limited to, the remittal of outstanding balances to the Authority, where applicable; and
c. Ensure that all pending player disputes are duly settled.
- The Authority hereby advises you that in terms of sub-article (f) and (g) of the Third Schedule to the Gaming Act (Cap. 583 of the Laws of Malta) (the ‘Act’), the failure to effect payments to players when lawfully due, and failing to ensure the integrity and availability of essential regulatory data, are considered offences against the Act, and hence, classified as a criminal offences.
Additionally, as a director of the Authorised Person, you may be subjected to criminal proceedings and shall be held liable in solidum with the Authorised Person in accordance with article 23 (1) of the Act.
- Submit to the Authority a transaction report extracted from their back-end system together with the supporting bank statements, attesting that all player funds have been duly remitted to the registered players;
Provided that the Authority shall reserve the right to request the Authorised Person to provide the necessary facilities to the Authority in order for the latter to extract and make copies of the relevant data, including but not limited to, essential regulatory data as defined in the Gaming Definitions Regulations (S.L. 583.04); and
- Settle all outstanding fees that are due to the Authority, amounting to a total of fifty thousand Euro (€50,000.00), within a period of five (5) working days from the date of receipt of this letter.
Without prejudice to the conditions that must be adhered to by the Authorised Person with immediate effect and any other deadline referred to above, the Authorised Person shall comply with the above listed actions by not later than seven (7) days from the date of receipt of this letter, unless indicated otherwise in the above sections.
In terms of Article 43 (1) of the Act, if the Authorised Person feels aggrieved by the decision of the Authority, such person shall have the right to file an appeal before the Administrative Review Tribunal within twenty (20) days from the date of publication of this cancellation.
The Authority reserves the right to take any other measures pertinent to it at law in order to recover the outstanding dues to it from the Authorised Person should the latter fail to
rectify accordingly, and should the latter fail to settle all outstanding claims from its registered players.
The Authorised Person shall remain liable for all applicable obligations emanating from the Act and any other applicable regulatory instrument.
This publication is being made in accordance with the first proviso of regulation 12 of the Regulations.