Nearly three dozen applications linked to crime-linked gaming consultant Iosif Galea have been halted by the gaming authority. 

Sources at the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) told Times of Malta that the 35 applications were linked to 24 licensees or prospective applicants.


Five of these applications were for new operating licences to set up gaming companies on the island while the others were for companies seeking to offer new services or changes to the company set-up. 

Times of Malta is informed that all the involved parties have been told by the MGA that their applications linked to Galea have been scrapped and that they must submit fresh documentation to go through the review process all over again. 

The decision was made after news broke that Galea is wanted in Malta by the police and in view of concerns of reputational damage to the jurisdiction.

The sources said the MGA had received a number of complaints from top operators in the island’s gaming sector since the Galea story first emerged.

A former official at the regulator, Galea today describes himself as a “regulatory compliance specialist and iGaming consultant”.

He is wanted to face charges over his suspected involvement in a racket that saw commercially sensitive information leaked from within the MGA. 

Jason Farrugia, formerly the MGA’s chief technology officer, was last month charged with money laundering and fraud among other offences after he allegedly leaked sensitive client information from the regulator.

Farrugia’s wife, Christine, 26, was also charged.

A court has heard how Farrugia received hefty cash payments from Galea when the alleged leaks occurred.

Soon after, it emerged that Galea was arrested in Italy on the back of a European arrest warrant (EAW) issued by the German authorities over a separate tax evasion case.

At the time of his arrest, he was holidaying with a group that included former prime minister Joseph Muscat, who denied any connection to him. 

The independent police complaints board has been tasked with conducting an internal investigation to see how Galea was allowed to repeatedly travel out of Malta despite already being the subject of an EAW.

At the time of his arrest, he was holidaying with a group that included former prime minister Joseph Muscat, who denied any connection to him. 

Earlier this year, Galea had been informed by the MGA that his approval to act as what is known as a key function holder with gaming companies would not be renewed when it expired in September.  

A key function holder is authorised by the regulator to carry out important corporate tasks related to gaming services and licensees. These can range from running the company, to offering audit, compliance or legal advice.

The decision not to renew his approval came on the back of a series of irregularities with gaming companies he represented that were flagged by the authority last year.

In the months before Galea’s arrest in Italy, the MGA had issued a notice informing Galea that he would be served with a formal warning over his conduct. 

While that warning was pending, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued Galea with a €53,000 fine.

The MFSA had not given details of what the fine related to at the time, saying only that he had been offering corporate services he was not eligible to carry out. 

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