International edition
June 12, 2021

Government claims it is of a commercial nature

Malta's Finance Ministry refuses to reveal information on casinos

Malta's Finance Ministry refuses to reveal information on casinos
Malta is refusing to give information about the amount of money local casino operators are paying for their concessions and licenses.
Malta | 06/02/2016

Malta is refusing to give information about the amount of money local casino operators are paying for their concessions and licenses.

F

ollowing several requests by the Times of Malta on the number of casino concessions granted so far, to whom they were given and how much money was being generated by the government through the concessions and licences, a spokesperson for Finance Minister Edward Scicluna finally replied after a month, but only to say that the ministry could not divulge such information as it was of a commercial nature.

The ministry did not even provide details about which companies hold a government concession and how long these were valid.

The Times of Malta has now filed a Freedom of Information request asking the permanent secretary at the Finance Ministry to provide the information according to law and in the public interest.

Apart from the fees that concession holders are requested to pay into the public coffers, the newspaper is also seeking information about the number of valid concessions granted by the government so far, the names of the companies or persons who have these concessions and their expiry.

The Malta Gaming Authority was more transparent when asked about current casino licenses. A spokesperson for the authority, which grants casino licences once the government issues a concession, said that so far three Maltese companies had licences to operate a casino.

Tumas Gaming Limited, owned by the owners of the Hilton Hotel, has been granted two licenses – to operate the Oracle casino in Buġibba and another in Portomaso.

Dragonara Gaming has a license to operate the Dragonara casino until 2020, while Casino Malta Ltd was issued with a license last year to operate Casino Malta at the Intercontinental Hotel in St Julian’s.

According to the MGA, the license which had been given to the Casino di Venezia was cancelled earlier this year. The casino in Vittoriosa ran into major financial difficulties and closed down in 2013.

 

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