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MGA signs data sharing agreement with Slovak Football Association

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The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has established a data sharing agreement with Slovakia’s Football Association, the sport’s governing body in the jurisdiction.

The agreement will facilitate information sharing between the two parties, in order to maintain compliance with sports betting laws and protect the integrity of Slovakian football.

It joins a growing list of data sharing agreements with international partners from the sporting world, the MGA’s sports integrity manager Antonia Zerafa said.

“We are proud that through such agreements we are placing ourselves as an important contributor to match-fixing investigations across the globe, and we hope that we can now provide the same level of assistance to the Slovak FA also,” he said.

Jakub Čavoj, integrity officer at the Slovak Football Association, added: “I hope that this agreement will be very useful for both sides and help us achieve a common goal – protecting the integrity of sport competitions.”

“For the Slovak FA and police investigations this exchange of information could be important in collecting evidence because many betting companies popular in Slovakia have a Malta gambling license. Sharing best practice and exchange of information is key in the fight against match-fixing.”

Last week, the MGA published data from its Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit, showing that the number of suspicious transaction reports (STRs) received from remote gambling operators more than doubled year-on-year in 2019.

The annual total of 1,445 represented a 106.4% increase on the 700 reports recorded in 2018. Three unnamed companies were responsible for filing 32% of all STRs in 2019, while five other companies raised 35% of the reports. The remaining 33% of STRs were put forward by 72 entities, with 29 remote gambling operators filing one report during the year.

The MGA’s The Suspicious Betting Reporting Mechanism (SBRM) was launched in November, allowing all MGA-licensed sports betting operators to report suspicious activity to the regulator’s dedicated Sports Integrity Unit.

The SBRM is an attempt by the operator to ensure a smooth transition to regulatory change coming in on 1 January 2021, after which it will be a legal requirement for operators to report suspicious betting activity.

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