eathcliff Farrugia has resigned as Chief Executive Officer of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). He had been appointed to the role in 2018 replacing Joseph Cuschieri, who was appointed the CEO of Malta’s Financial Services Authority.
As reported by Lovin Malta, Farrugia and his right-hand man Chief Officer of Authorisations Karl Brincat Peplow plan to start their own business as industry providers.
Malta’s gaming sector has been under the microscope for several years with EU criticism over Malta’s tax rebate system. However, this all intensified once Malta failed its first crucial Moneyval test.
If the country fails to pass its next Moneyval test in Spring, Malta would be placed on the body’s “greylist” which will see the island subjected to enhanced monitoring procedures.
Gaming is a crucial industry in Malta. It generates roughly €1.56 billion in gross value added for the Maltese economy and provides some 7,417 jobs.
Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit has been beefed up. Meanwhile, newly-appointed police commissioner Angelo Gafà has pledged to take a stronger stance against financial crime, his first action in office replacing Economic Crimes Unit head Ian Abdilla with Alexandra Mamo.
It seems the MGA could be the next authority set for significant changes.
Malta’s government remains confident that the country will pass its second test, with Prime Minister Robert Abela insisting that authorities were focused on closing up the glaring issues.