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Latest news and updates from the MGA and the UKGC

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The UKGC and Malta Gaming Authority are making changes and updates to increase player safety. Read for more information.

The best gambling regulators in the industry are always finding ways to increase player safety and updating policies to make sure this happens.

Both the UKGC and the MGA are leading regulators who work hard to keep the world of online gambling a safe place. From time to time, that means making changes to online casino licenses and keeping casinos updated on what could be harmful activity.

Take a look at the latest updates from these regulators on what should be noted and what changes are about to be made.

UKGC – Suspicious activity on the rise

Recently, the UKGC released its latest instalment of the emerging risks bulletin, and it highlighted a few interesting (and potentially risky) facts.

For one, more suspicious activity reports were submitted to the National Crime Agency (NCA) during the Covid-19 pandemic than ever before.

The bulletin revealed: “The NCA during COVID-19 pandemic has seen an increase in SAR submissions and it is vital that operators submit a SAR to the United Kingdom’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU) whenever there is knowledge or suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing. Failure to do so may result in licensees committing a criminal offence.”

The increase in SAR submissions has touched on the fact that the UKGC needs to keep a hand on due diligence checks by online casinos.

The second important factor the bulletin raised is that crypto is being flagged as high risk. With the increased usage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the UKGC fears that money laundering and organised crime may spike. It has warned online casinos to remain vigilant and on high alert for any potential scams that may arise.

MGA – Lowering the minimum RTP to 85%

The latest changes by the MGA is to lower the current minimum RTP threshold for online casino games to only 85%. The current RTP threshold is set at 92% but the MGA would like to bring it in line with land-based casinos.

Lowering the RTP would allow online operators and software developers to offer their games in jurisdictions where taxes may be higher than usual. Minimal changes would be needed for these games, and it provides a level playing field between online and land-based establishments.

The MGA shared that industry stakeholders were consulted on these changes, and all welcomed the change in RTP going forward. “The proposed change to the minimum return threshold will provide flexibility to operators that would be free to apply various RTPs as desired based on, inter alia, market conditions and competition levels,” said the MGA.

Some responded to the change in RTP stating that it should be as low as 75% while others argued that there should be no minimum at all.

“One respondent clarified that removing the RTP requirement does not mean that operators will no longer strive to maintain adequate RTP levels to avoid risks relating to the well-being of customers, as the market conditions will force the industry to maintain an appropriate RTP standard,” commented the MGA.

Lower RTPs also mean that casino game developers will need to provide new ways to excite players, including the addition of new bonus mechanisms and tournaments.

The lower RTP change is set to come into effect within a few weeks as operators and software providers make all of the necessary changes.

Published: June 23, 2021

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Article by Stelly

CasinoWow Contributor

Hey there! I am Stelly, and happily, I'm part of CasinoWow's content team. It excites me to be able to write and share with all gambling enthusiasts unbiased reviews and news that contribute to the gambling community and industry. Thankfully, I also have the chance to help you make an informed choice for casino brands and games, as well as provide interesting guides and news.

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