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Tipster Limited’s gaming license suspended by the Malta Gaming Authority

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has suspended Tipster Limited’s gaming license in the country. Troubled times continue for the gambling operator who recently lost its German gambling license as well. Rumors circulating around the situation suggest that Tipster Limited is winding up its operations. As a result of the suspension of its Maltese gambling permit, Tipster is no longer allowed to carry out gambling activities within the MGA’s jurisdiction. The suspension came into effect on June 27 this year.

The city of Valletta at sunset

Spribe has started the month of July on the front foot ©Micaela Parente/Unsplash

The gaming control board of Malta, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), regulates all forms of gambling in its territory, including both land-based and online gambling services. It monitors gambling operators (B2C) and iGaming solution providers (B2B). The MGA ensures that licensed gaming operations are fair and transparent to all players and prevent crime whilst protecting minors and players vulnerable to addiction. It is the supervisory authority over land-based and remote gambling in the country. The MGA is considered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as an ‘agent’ of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU). As an FIAU agent, the MGA has to cooperate with the FIAU in ensuring that casino and gaming license holders in the country comply with all government regulations. The MGA was one of the first authorities to come into existence to make online gambling legal in Europe. The gaming license issued by the Malta Gaming Authority is considered a gold standard in the European gaming industry. Any operator holding an MGA license will find it easier to obtain licenses from other European regulators.

Tipster Limited is a gambling and sports betting operator that was once in possession of gambling permits to operate in Germany and Malta. The company came into existence in 2010 and had been offering sports betting in the two countries since. However, recently, amid speculation that Tipster Limited is declaring insolvency, the German gaming authority, Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL), revoked Tipster’s license. Following the GGL, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) also suspended Tipster’s license in Malta. Tipster Limited held MGA licenses MGA/B2C/191/2010 and MGA/B2B/694/2019. As a result, Tipster Limited will no longer be able to carry out any gaming operations in Malta. However, the suspension from MGA requires the company to retain the data of all registered players and their accounts. Tipster must also provide the MGA access to this data whenever asked in order to facilitate the refund to all the players in accordance with applicable laws.

The MGA is responsible for ensuring the safe and responsible use of online gaming sites in Malta. It ensures that minors and vulnerable individuals are protected from the harmful effects of gambling. The Malta Gaming Authority holds the right to issue, revoke or suspend gaming licenses in the country. It also has the power to levy sanctions or fines on gaming operators who fail to comply with the Lotteries and Other Games Act, 2001, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, and the Gaming Act. Though the MGA did not state an explicit reason for the suspension of Tipster’s license, it stated that it had found Tipster in “violation” of its laws. The nature of the violation has not yet come to light. There is no evidence that Tipster engaged in any illegal or unethical behavior. The suspension came in quick succession after the German regulator revoked Tipster’s sports betting license in Germany.

Tipster Limited is facing troubled times

It is reported that the company Tipster Limited is on the verge of wrapping up all its operations. It began insolvency proceedings last month by appointing Dr. Jorg Gollnick as its provisional insolvency administrator. He is also the provisional insolvency administrator for Tipster Service Gmbh, which is a part of the Tipster group. The move came after a series of raids that took place in Germany over the month of April 2023 at the location of an unnamed online sports betting operator. Raids were carried out in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bremen, Berlin, Saxony, and Bavaria.

The raids in Cologne were at the Tipster headquarters, according to the German newspaper, Bild. However, later a spokesperson for the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) gave a statement confirming none of the licensed practitioners in the country were involved in the raids. These raids were a result of a two-and-a-half-year-long investigation regarding alleged criminal activities. Dr. Jorg Gollnick stated that the company required a restructuring based on the sports betting operator’s value.

GGL canceled Tipster Limited’s license following the insolvency rumors and the news regarding the raids. GGL did not reveal the reason behind the decision. It is assumed that the license was revoked to ensure “player protection”. Tipster Limited held a multi-state license in Germany. The GGL stated that Tipster no longer met the requirements of the license. As a result, Tipster was also removed from Germany’s list of approved gambling operators. The only piece of information revealed by the German authority was that the action was taken to protect the players and ensure that player safety standards are not hampered due to the activities of Tipster Ltd. The company was one of the biggest land-based betting operators in Germany. Its multi-state license enabled the company to set up hundreds of betting stations all over the country, offering sports betting in 16 Federal states in Germany.

MGA canceled one license and issued notice to another operator

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has been in action in the last couple of months, canceling Austria-based 4tune Software Gmbh’s license and issuing a notice to Totup System Limited. The actions were taken for a breach of the Gaming Compliance and Enforcement Regulations of the MGA. The MGA revoked 4tune Software’s B2B gambling license as it failed to fulfill the financial commitments under Malta’s gambling law.

All gambling operators in the country are required to pay a fee for permits on a promised date to operate under the MGA. The authority canceled 4tune Software’s B2B permit for failing to make the payment in May 2023. It also issued a notice of cancellation to Matla-based Totup System Limited for a similar violation.

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Author: James Richardson