The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is one of the most well respected gambling jurisdictions in the world, providing licensing to many of our recommended pokies sites. Despite the cost of Bitcoin continuing to soar and several casino jurisdictions beginning to recognise Bitcoin as a legitimate payment method, the MGA is keeping a safe distance from the digital currency, treading carefully to avoid any potential risks Bitcoin gambling could bring.
Executive Chairman of the MGA, Joseph Cuschieri, told Malta Today that his organisation receives “very few” requests from casino vendors seeking to offer Bitcoin transactions, but that the MGA had always rejected such requests as they view the digital currency as a risk. As it stands, MGA’s policy states that it does not accept crypto-currencies.
Cuschieri believes digital currencies like Bitcoin are gaining popularity as traditional banks become wary about their connections with online gambling operators. As such, Cuschieri says the MGA will continue to look forward to “adopting a national approach” towards crypto-currencies. They intend to collaborate with the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit, the Malta Financial Services Authority and Malta’s Central Bank moving forward.
The MGA’s position on crypto-currencies is interesting as it goes against the trend of other gambling jurisdictions who are starting to embrace the use of digital currencies. Earlier this year, the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission proposed to allow licensees to use virtual currencies, while the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) recently added digital currencies like Bitcoin to its list of acceptable payment methods.
Sarah Harrison, CEO of UKGC, was quoted in the company’s annual report as saying digital currencies were amongst the jurisdictions “continuing future focus” areas.
The MGA is currently in the process of updating its legislation, but will undergo stringent consultation with stakeholders before the final draft is delivered to parliament. Any changes to the MGA’s gaming regime aren’t expected to take effect until March 2017.
What does this mean for Aussie players? Only time will tell, but many punters and vendors are nervous about the potential ramifications, as casinos operating under the MGA are amongst the most frequented by Australians.
Bookmark our site to stay in the loop of the MGA’s new legislations and any developments in the use of Bitcoin casino deposits.