MGA exploring the development of a voluntary ESG code of good practice for the iGaming sector

The Malta Gaming Authority announced on Monday it is “exploring” the development of a voluntary Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) code of good practice for the remote gaming sector. 

“As investors, consumers and employees become increasingly aware of the impact that companies have on society and the environment, we have been witnessing growing awareness around Environmental, Social, and Governance matters,” said the regulator. 

Moreover, the watchdog noted that, in recent years, the Maltese Government has launched a voluntary ESG reporting platform to encourage companies to publicly report on their ESG performance, thus driving investment toward sustainable businesses.

While the Authority said it is “proud” of the progress of the gaming sector, and acknowledges the work done by its licensees, some of which currently report on ESG publicly, starting from 2024, all large or listed companies will be required to report under the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)

In this context, in an effort to remain “at the forefront of innovation and forward-looking practices,” the MGA explains it has “embarked on a journey to develop a voluntary code of good practice for the remote gaming sector” to help prepare licensees for upcoming ESG legislation, and “to potentially derive the benefits tied to running a sustainably conscious operation.”

According to the Authority, the code will set out the common priorities for ESG in gaming, taking into consideration the needs of key stakeholders, to reduce environmental, social and governance impacts “whilst continually enhancing Malta’s reputation as a leading Gaming jurisdiction.”

Looking ahead, we expect to see more and more companies taking concrete actions towards becoming more sustainable, and we believe that reporting such efforts contributes positively to implementing change within the sector and improving its overall perception, while also addressing the increasing demand for transparency and accountability,” said the MGA.

As part of this initiative, the MGA has launched a survey with its licensees, who the regulator says are the key partners in the process of “transforming the gaming sector into a more sustainable and transparent one.” Stakeholders can reach out to the Authority at this point if they have any queries.

Earlier this month, the MGA amended parts of its Player Protection Directive to include new obligations and mandate the monitoring of specific markers of harm. The new rules came into force on January 12.