MGA introduces new dispute procedures for operators
The Malta Gaming Authority notified its licensees and the general public that in pursuant to article 7(2) of the new Gaming Act (Cap. 583 of the Laws of Malta), it is issuing the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Directive, as a binding instrument in order to delineate in further detail the specific requirements in relation to Alternative Dispute Resolution.
By virtue of regulations of the Player Protection Regulations, B2C licensees must make readily available to players the applicable procedures for making a complaint to them and for referring a complaint to an ADR entity. This Directive is intended to provide additional guidance to B2C licensees as to the nature of the ADR entity which B2C licensees must refer players to, and details as to the specific information which must be notified to the MGA.
Those who have not yet informed the MGA as to which ADR entity they have entered into an agreement with, are to do so as soon as possible, by sending an email on firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “ADR Notification”, detailing the name(s) of the ADR entity or entities, and the duration of the agreement.
Monthly reports which detail all the disputes which have been referred to ADR entities, including the player ID and the subject-matter of the dispute, as well as the conclusions of the ADR entities may be submitted as of 21 January 2019. More guidance as to the format which such notification should follow will be issued closer to the date.
The MGA will be distinguishing between players’ complaints and disputes. As of 1 April 2019, the MGA’s Player Support Unit will no longer be delving into the merits of a dispute between a player and a B2C licensee, since this function is reserved for the relevant ADR entity. Disputes are understood to be a disagreement between a player and the MGA B2C licensee with which that player is registered.
However, the Player Support Unit will be open to receiving complaints from any individuals. Complaints are understood to be a report by any individual that any aspect of the provision of the gaming service by an MGA licensee is unlawful, or conducted in a manner which is not safe, fair, or transparent. In the event that the Player Support Unit receives a dispute which also includes a complaint, the Unit will be examining the complaint independently of the ADR entity, as part of its compliance functions.
Furthermore, the Player Support Unit will be examining the monthly reports submitted by B2C licensees which details the disputes which have been referred to the relevant ADR entities.
To this end, B2C licensees are instructed to ensure that their player dispute procedures do not refer players to the Malta Gaming Authority, but rather to the relevant ADR entity, in accordance with Article 4 of this Directive.