International edition
September 27, 2020

Statements by Joseph Cuschieri

For Malta Gaming Authority, bitcoins still risky

For Malta Gaming Authority, bitcoins still risky
While Malta is quickly becoming a hotbed for iGaming, the adoption of Bitcoin by local companies will take longer than people may want it to.
Malta | 08/05/2016

While Malta is quickly becoming a hotbed for iGaming, the adoption of Bitcoin by local companies will take longer than people may want it to.

T

he benefits of Bitcoin for the gambling industry have been discussed many times in the past. But some authoritative figures still see Bitcoin as a risk, particularly in the gaming and gambling world. 

It is rather interesting to learn the online gambling regulator of Malta is rather hesitant towards approaching Bitcoin these days. The wait-and-see approach employed by traditional financial institutions is rather uncommon in the online gaming and gambling industry. After all, all of these companies want to attract as many customers around the world as possible.

But Joseph Cuschieri, who is the chairperson of the Malta Gaming Authority, is one of the few exceptions in this regard. While he noticed the growing popularity of cryptocurrency in the gaming world, he strongly feels this is due to “financial institutions becoming more risk averse”. That statement could have some merit, though, as it becoming more difficult for iGaming providers to find a bank partner these days.

Interestingly enough, the Malta Gaming Authority has not received too many requests from its licensees to handle Bitcoin transactions

That is not entirely surprising either, considering how the MGA has always refused these requests in the past. Cuschieri still feels Bitcoin is a risk, and it is unlikely the MGA’s policy on cryptocurrency will change anytime soon.

However, this does not mean the MGA is not working on a way to solve this problem.

According to Malta Today, there is a plan on the table to create a nationalized approach to cryptocurrency

However, this process will involve collaboration with the Central Bank of Malta, as well as the country’s Financial Services Authority and the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit.

It remains to be seen how this situation with the MGA will evolve, as they are one of the few gaming authorities openly refusing to deal with Bitcoin. Most other countries around the world have adapted their legislation to allow for cryptocurrency usage. Both gambling operators and bettors can benefit from Bitcoin in the gaming world, so there is no real reason to swim against the stream.

 

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