The gambling regulator for Malta has announced the establishment of a special entity that is to be tasked with gathering information and intelligence on suspicious betting patterns in order to help in the fight against the illicit manipulation of sportsbetting.

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) used an official Thursday press release to detail that its new Sports Integrity Unit will additionally pass on any data it obtains concerning possible suspicious or irregular betting activities to foreign and local iGaming operators, regulatory bodies, sporting organizations, law enforcement agencies and betting monitoring systems.

Collaborative concern:

The regulator explained that this new effort is to be headed in the role of Sports Integrity Officer by Antonio Zerafa and will also liaise with its other departments so as to help in the formulation and implementation of policy initiatives including those associated with the timely reporting of suspicious sportsbetting activities. The MGA stated that this interaction is to moreover run to the signing of agreements with other like-minded entities in order to create ‘a culture of cooperation amongst industry stakeholders to tackle the worldwide problem of corruption in sports.’

Knowledgeable command:

Heathcliff Farrugia (pictured), Chief Executive Officer for the MGA, used the press release (pdf) to proclaim that Zerafa has been with the Malta regulator for four years filling a variety of roles including Secretary for its Fit and Proper Committee. He furthermore declared that the experienced professional holds a degree in criminology from the University of Malta and is currently studying for a doctorate in law and criminology with a special focus on gaming-related crimes at Sheffield Hallam University.

Read a statement from Farrugia…

“Having a dedicated Sports Integrity Unit is vital for the MGA’s statutory objective to ensure that gambling is free from crime, specifically the manipulation of sports competitions. The MGA is committing to cooperation with stakeholders to the extent permitted by law to act against a pervasive phenomenon that threatens the integrity of both the sports and the betting industries.”