Compliance: How Jake Cachia transitioned from regulator to a commercial role

Lea Hogg 1 month ago
Compliance: How Jake Cachia transitioned from regulator to a commercial role

Jake Cachia, a seasoned compliance professional in the gaming industry, recently shared his experience with SiGMA News on transitioning from a regulatory role at the Malta Gaming Authority to a commercial role at EveryMatrix. After nearly seven years at the Malta Gaming Authority, Cachia made the challenging decision to close that chapter of his career and embark on a new journey with a commercial company.

Cachia (pictured above), says that the transition was smooth, thanks in large part to the warm welcome and support he received from the EveryMatrix team. However, he faced several key challenges during his initial weeks at EveryMatrix. Among these were convincing his highly capable and experienced team to trust his leadership, staying informed of the key aspects of major regulators on a global scale, and developing a strong and reliable network of advisors and industry professionals.

In his own words, Cachia said, “Prior to introducing long-term and foundational changes, I communicated my plans for the compliance function to all the key stakeholders, and got everyone’s buy-in, or at the very least, awareness of such changes. This helped in building trust at all levels and has resulted in a very robust compliance framework which is actively involved in helping the business traverse the everchanging regulatory landscape.”

Embracing new roles towards safer gambling

Cachia’s current role as a Compliance and AML Manager at EveryMatrix differs significantly from his previous role at the Malta Gaming Authority. Because of this, he had to shift his mindset to think from the perspective of working for a business rather than working for a regulator. This was a challenging process, but Cachia’s background in accountancy helped him reconcile the business viewpoint with the regulatory perspective.

When it comes to promoting responsible gaming, Cachia has been instrumental in implementing key initiatives at EveryMatrix. He added, “When joining EveryMatrix, our “safer gambling” credentials, whilst existent, were nowhere where they should be. Our main focus was to ensure that our platform is compliant across the board in terms of safer gambling.”

Cachia’s insights and experiences provide a valuable outlook on the challenges and opportunities in the gaming industry. He highlights the importance of adaptability, continuous learning, and effective communication in navigating the fast-paced and ever-changing regulatory landscape of online gaming.

Upon joining EveryMatrix, Cachia explains how he recognized that while the company had ‘safer gambling’ credentials, there was room for improvement. The primary focus was to ensure that their platform was compliant in terms of Safer Gambling but “this changed last year, when we embarked on a massive journey to push EveryMatrix to the forefront of the ‘safer gambling’ space and in fact, last September, EveryMatrix became the first iGaming provider to achieve WLA Safer Gambling certification.”

Cachia acknowledges that the journey is still in its early stages. However, with the dedicated commitment of all stakeholders, especially CEO Ebbe Groes and Senior Compliance Counsel & Safer Gambling Co-Ordinator, Naomi Koops, EveryMatrix has made significant progress. Groes’ intimate involvement and Koops’ transformative leadership in ‘safer gambling’ efforts have been instrumental in this progress.

Initiatives for responsible gaming

Notably, Cachia says, EveryMatrix has created an engaging customer portal which provides information through various media channels on safer gambling. It covers areas such as ‘key risk indicators’ and tools that operators can employ for their players.

I reiterate this to gaming executives, if not for your players’ interests, adopt safer gambling for your own interests. The long term results will be beneficial for both the operator and the players.”
 

Jake Cachia

In addition, EveryMatrix is incorporating top notch academic research and investing in the latest AI tools to help its clients predict problematic gambling and identify those at risk of harm. The company has also partnered with leading advisors and advocacy groups in the sector. Their goal is to establish how, as suppliers, the company can develop products and services to protect ‘at-risk users’ and create a more sustainable play environment where gambling is fun and affordable.

Cachia’s insights provide a valuable perspective on the importance of promoting responsible gaming in the iGaming industry. From his experience he says that continuous learning, and effective communication are a must in this ever-changing regulatory landscape.

Lessons learnt from MGA

During his tenure with the Malta Gaming Authority, Cachia identified three vital pillars being compliance, efficiency and effectiveness which the best licensees implement to create a holistic compliance framework.

Efficiency is achieved by streamlining routine procedures for speed and accuracy, he said, whereas. effectiveness is ensured by tying every task to managing regulatory risks.

Cachia provided a detailed explanation on the importance of maintaining a systematic record of all tasks and procedures. This practice ensures that every action taken within the organization is well-documented and can be retrieved with ease when required. This principle of traceability, as emphasized by Cachia, is a crucial aspect of effective management.

Furthermore, Cachia has expressed a strong belief in the concept of ‘safer gambling’. He asserts that the implementation of a comprehensive safer gambling programme is not just a regulatory requirement, but a strategic business decision that can yield significant benefits. He advocates for the active endorsement of such a programme by the Board and the C-suite executives of an organization. In his view, this initiative should not be merely a routine gesture, but a genuine commitment to promoting safer gambling practices. This, he believes, is a testament to an organization’s dedication to social responsibility and ethical conduct.

Cachia also highlights the commercial aspect, noting that player turnover is a key metric that operators strive to minimize. He suggests that if a player is provided with a safer gambling environment, which mitigates drastic fluctuations in their player wallet, it can lead to a reduction in player churn. As a result, the average economic lifetime value of a player to the operator is likely to increase. This is achieved without putting the player at risk of financial ruin and the associated economic and psychological risks.

Cachia reiterates to gaming executives the importance of adopting safer gambling practices, not just for the players’ interests, but also for their own. He believes that the long-term results will be beneficial for both the operator and the players.

Jake Cachia’s insight amplifies the importance of balancing commercial interests with a commitment to responsible gaming in the industry.

SiGMA News spoke with Jake Cachia, Compliance and AML Manager at EveryMatrix.

———-Stop Press: The next SiGMA Africa Summit takes place in Cape Town between 11-13 March !  SiGMA Africa event kicks off in Cape Town, South Africa on the 11 March. Building on the success of its inaugural edition in Nairobi, Kenya, in January 2023, SiGMA Group recognizes the need to foster collaboration and innovation within the industry.

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