The System Review is a comprehensive audit, intended to combine the most pertinent aspects of the System Audit and Compliance Audit into an overarching appraisal of the Licensee, scheduled one year after issuance of the licence.

On 16th November 2022, the new checklists were published with the various requirements split according to licence category as opposed to the previous all-encompassing list.

Operators with System Audits scheduled to take place after 1st January 2023 will need to comply with additional requirements which focus on the back-end system having technical capabilities to comply with the detailed and segregated monthly reporting requirements. Focus is also applied to existing Anti-Money Laundering requirements with functionality to display risk scores, risk assessments and irregular activity flags directly on the back-end system.

The System Review is for a large part a follow-up of the initial System Audit, intended to ensure continued compliance with the licence conditions. The Review also incorporates aspects of the Compliance Audit which brings policies and procedures and the company's business plan within the scope of the Review.

Overall, there are very few additional requirements imposed and operators should be familiar with the lion's share of the requirements. Obligations published in various Directives are now simply being introduced at the System Audit stage; updating a document last published in 2018. The System Review in essence substitutes the Compliance Audit, based on the Compliance Audit Manual, which will now be undertaken on an ad-hoc basis.

For clarity, the above Audits will be carried out by approved Audit Service Providers, with the System Review carried out in a live environment. The Authority remarked that a Licensee might also be asked to undergo a System Review in any instance that the Authority decides upon, such as the launching of new products or technologies.

The Malta Gaming Authority is also making further changes to the licence with the recent publication of consultations on the Player Protection Directive and Virtual Financial Assets/Innovative Technology Arrangements. The consultation on the amendments to the Player Protection Directive is aimed at strengthening certain player protection requirements and features. This consultation has been closed and the feedback submitted by all the interested parties is currently under the Authority's review.

The Policy on Virtual Financial Asset's will replace the Sandbox due to expire at the end of the year. The consultation is open with the proposed framework being more practical and friendly to operators wishing to make use of crypto-assets or utilise innovative technologies within the technical infrastructure.

Earlier this year the MGA had also updated the system documentation checklist which meant a stronger focus was put on the AML documentation.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.