Fall of a gaming giant: MGA revokes Tipbet’s licence

Lea Hogg 1 month ago
Fall of a gaming giant: MGA revokes Tipbet’s licence

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), the regulatory body for all forms of gaming in Malta, has revoked the operator licence of Tipbet Limited, a Gzira-based company that has been a significant player in the online sports betting industry since its inception in 1995. This decision has immediate effect, marking a significant moment in the history of Malta’s gaming industry.

Tipbet, with its roots in Malta, had expanded its operations across Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, and Macedonia, establishing a strong presence in the European gaming market. However, recent events have cast a shadow over the company’s future. The MGA has identified a series of failures by Tipbet to honour its financial commitments, leading the authority to predict an “imminent” failure for the operator.

In response to these concerns, the MGA has imposed several immediate restrictions on Tipbet. The company must suspend all gaming operations and halt new customer registrations. Existing customers must be allowed to access their accounts and withdraw any funds. Furthermore, Tipbet is required to ensure that all player funds are credited in accordance with the Malta Gaming Act (Chapter 583 of the Laws of Malta) and must settle any outstanding fees within five days.

The MGA’s decision to revoke Tipbet’s licence was made under Section 9 of Malta’s Gaming Compliance and Enforcement Regulations. The authority cited multiple infringements of regulatory obligations and financial commitments by Tipbet, including failures to meet commitments to players in a timely manner and to pay regulatory fees on time. These issues led the MGA to conclude that the operator’s failure was not just possible, but “imminent”.

Detailed examination of the failure

The MGA has the power to cancel licence authorisation under Section 10(a) of the Enforcement Regulation, a step it can take when the grounds for suspension under regulation 9 are met and the MGA determines cancellation to be the most appropriate measure. In Tipbet’s case, the regulator decided that there was material and sufficient reason to cancel the licence authorisation.

As part of the licence revocation process, Tipbet has been ordered to submit a transaction report and supporting bank statements within seven days to demonstrate that player funds have been returned. This is not the first time the MGA has taken such action. In March, the MGA cancelled the Maltese online gaming licence of BTM Entertainment Group, and earlier, it had announced the cancellation of its authorisation for Rush Gaming, the operator of Fansbet.com and Onebet.com.

This series of events serves as a stark reminder of the rigorous regulatory environment in which gaming companies operate, and the serious consequences they face when they fail to meet their obligations.

The fall of Tipbet, a once thriving gaming giant, is a significant development in the gaming industry, and its impact will be felt across the sector.

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