MGA to enter agreement with Guardia di Finanza

Deal will tackle illegal activity through gaming intelligence exchange

The Malta Gaming Authority plans to enter into an agreement with Italy’s Guardia di Finanza. The deal to share intelligence with investigators aims to tackle illegal gaming activity and Mafia infiltration of the industry.

The agreement, which will be signed in the next few days, comes in the wake of an Italian investigation which uncovered Malta’s role in a multi-billion Euro money-laundering scheme.

The decision came shortly after Italian authorities released a statement announcing a major investigation into online betting fraud, which led to the arrest of 68 people and the seizure of over €1 billion in assets across the EU.

The investigation, which was done in cooperation with Eurojust, the Maltese authorities, and their European counterparts, was led by the prosecutors of Bari, Reggio Calabria and Catania, and coordinated by the Italian National Anti-Mafia and Counter-Terrorism Directorate.

The volume of sports and other bets, discovered by the Guardia di Finanza and the police, is worth over €4.5 billion, according to Italian media reports.

Italian investigators said the criminal groups were using Mafia methods to infiltrate the online betting market to launder funds deriving from drug trafficking and other criminal activities.

Once laundered, the funds were then reinvested in estate assets and financial positions abroad, in the name of foundations and a complex web of shell companies.

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