n January 4th, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) made reference to two media articles which appeared on the Times of Malta bearing the headline(s) “Mafia planned to infiltrate Malta gaming companies – Italian police in Palermo raids” on 15 December 2017, and another article with the headline “Hillman put on State payroll two weeks after election – Malta Gaming Authority denied he was given consultancy job” which appeared on 24 December 2017. The MGA has publicly objected to the articles in question, "on the grounds of containing factual inaccuracies, speculation, untruths and a misleading portrayal of the Malta Gaming Authority and the way it operates."
As regards the article entitled "Mafia planned to infiltrate Malta gaming companies – Italian police in Palermo raids", the Gaming regulator stated: “The Malta Gaming Authority takes exception to such a speculative and senseless article which one can only conclude that it is intended solely to harm Malta’s reputation as a gaming jurisdiction of excellence. If such alleged plans to relocate underground activities to Malta were true (as reported in the article), such pans would have likely failed from a “fit and properness” standpoint since our rigorous due diligence procedures, criminal probity checks, investigations and intelligence gathering activities when on-boarding new licensees but also our ongoing supervisory processes are of a high standard and would have immediately red flagged any such attempts”
In connection with the article entitled "Hillman put on State payroll two weeks after election – Malta Gaming Authority denied he was given consultancy job", the Gaming regulator stated: “The article in question contains untruths and factual inaccuracies. Mr Hillman was engaged by the MGA with effect from 3 July 2017. Contract was signed on 28 June after all the relevant approvals were received in line with public procurement procedures."
"The MGA was correct (on 21 June 2017) in stating that Mr Hillman was not doing consultancy work for the MGA when the Times of Malta correspondent asked the question, and the MGA received no instructions whatsoever from the OPM to engage Mr Hillman. Any suggestions to this effect are purely speculative and totally untrue. All MGA consultancy engagements including Mr Hillman’s are based on the Authority’s business requirements, ongoing projects and strategic objectives and selection is based on competences of the individual(s) or firms concerned. As far as is publicly available, Mr Hillman was investigated by The Times of Malta through a board of inquiry set up for that purpose and no wrongdoing on his part was found so much so that the Times of Malta reached an amicable solution to the dispute.”