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Malta to Update Gambling Regulations

The Malta Gambling Authority is responding to the fallout from an Italian investigation of several Malta-based gambling companies by saying it plans considerable changes to the island country’s gaming laws.

According to Italy’s news agency Agimeg, Malta officials said the authority has been working on an update of the gambling laws since 2013, and that it intends to present a number of proposals to the Parliament that will “innovate, update and extend the power of the gambling authority.”

Still, officials said the updates were not tied to the criminal investigation—which led to 41 arrests—and that they believed the sites in question—including Betsolutions4U Limited and the Uniq Group Limited—engaged in “an isolated episode.”

New laws will allow the Maltese authorities to have greater control over the industry’s gambling market while also increasing player protection with a particular focus on online gambling, officials told the news agency.

Malta’s gambling laws and promise of legitimate regulation are what attracted many operators to the island in the first place, but those laws have come under criticism—especially in the wake of the arrests—for not being as rigorous as initially thought.