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MGA: Licensees must run new background checks after Russian sanctions

| By Nosa Omoigui
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has reminded its licensees of their obligations with regards to sanctioning, in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
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Licensees have been warned to carry out due screening processes prior to entering business relationships, and any new sanctions should be treated as a triggering event to run new background checks on customers.

MGA operators should also stop any transaction from going through, freeze any assets and inform the Sanctions Monitoring Board of any customers whose funds may originate from Russian sources.

The MGA said: “The Authority is stressing the importance that licensees ensure that any systems used to monitor sanctions are being run in an effective and efficient manner, that they are informed with any updates regarding the Russia/Ukraine situation and, as a result, calibrate their sanctions monitoring systems in order to reflect any additions made to the applicable lists being monitored.

“They should react swiftly in ensuring that their customer databases are subject to the most recently updated and applicable sanctions lists.”

Operator Parimatch Tech withdrew its brand from Russia as a result of the ongoing invasion. Companies across the gaming industry have also started fundraising efforts to help those affected by the war. These include Gaming Industry for Ukraine initiative, with the aim of raising £250,000 for people displaced by the war in Ukraine. All proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to Choose Love’s Ukraine Crisis Fundraiser. So far, just under £130,000 has been donated.

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