Monday November 25 ,2013 : MALTA REGULATOR WARNS ON SOCIAL NETWORK ADVERTISING BY CASINOS
Land casino operators could lose their licenses, new regulator warns.
Malta-licensed land gambling operators who fail to comply with the LGA rules on gambling promotion on internet social media sites run the risk of losing their licensed status, says the recently appointed new head of the Lotteries and Gaming Authority, Joseph Cuschieri.
The LGA requires that land operators advertise and promote only on media regulated by the national licensing body, but land casino operators have been branching out into Facebook and other social website promotions on the internet.
Possibly stung by its own recent prosecution for carrying advertorial on the Dragonara Casino restaurant, the Malta Today newspaper took up the issue this week, reporting that even newspapers are prohibited from featuring items that could promote gambling inside a designated parlour or casino.
"The Gaming Act allows casinos and gaming parlours to advertise only in locations frequented by tourists, including airports, seaports, hotels and holiday complexes, yet social media advertising does not seem to fit the bill under the gaming provision," the newspaper argues.
Asked for comment by the newspaper, LGA executive chairman Cuschieri said: "Online advertising on social media by all licensed land-based casinos and gaming establishments is regulated by the LGA, and the licensees must ensure compliance with the laws."
Cuschieri went on to threaten that breaches would result in enforcement action by the regulator.
Where this leaves the online gambling sector – a major contributor to Malta's economy and one where online marketing is essential – is not certain.