Malta Gaming Authority Leads the Way in ESG Reporting: A Closer Look by BWC

In a recent seminar titled “Embracing ESG – An ongoing commitment for the gaming industry,” Dr. Carl Brincat, CEO of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), emphasized the importance of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards in the gaming industry.

This event, organized by Zampa Debattista and GTG, brought together key stakeholders to discuss the direction of Malta’s progress in terms of ESG standards. Unfortunately, BWC could not be present at the event.

This post discusses the main highlights of the event based on available resources.

The attendants

The event was attended by several leaders in the industry among which:

  • Liesbeth Oost, Global Sustainability and IR Manager at Neon Games who recently took over Aspire Global
  • Jonna Danlund , Head of Sustainability, Betsson Group.

Main points of the seminar:

The seminar underscored the rising importance of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) factors in the gaming industry. Carl Brincat, CEO of the Malta Gaming Authority, initiated the event with a keynote address, elaborating on Malta’s forthcoming ESG code for gaming licensees.

According to Dr. Brincat, gaming operators not only receive a license in the legal sense but also a social license. This social license signifies their commitment to caring about their customers and minimizing negative impacts on their lives. Moreover, Brincat highlighted that having a robust ESG strategy makes business sense, as it attracts customers, investors, and banking relationships.

MGA says it is taking a proactive role in promoting ESG within the gaming industry. They are set to publish a voluntary ESG code of good practice in the coming months. This code aims to set common priorities for ESG in gaming, reduce environmental, social, and governance impacts, and enhance Malta’s reputation as a leading gaming jurisdiction.

This set the stage for the panel debates that followed.

Three key panels formed the crux of the seminar.

The first panel tackled the applicability of ESG principles in the gaming sector, comparing its readiness to that of the financial services industry.

The second panel shifted the focus to environmental concerns, discussing practical initiatives that iGaming companies are taking to address them.

The third and final panel centred on crafting an ESG compliance programme for gaming operators. Here, the emphasis was on measurable reporting outcomes that could be audited for accountability.

The seminar wrapped up with a networking coffee session, allowing attendees to connect and discuss the day’s insights.

BWC’s Perspective:

At Better World Casinos (BWC), we see this development as a positive step in the right direction for the gaming industry. The emphasis on ESG standards aligns with our core values of transparency and integrity. We appreciate the MGA’s commitment to fostering a culture where gaming operators focus on financial performance and their societal impact.

However, as advocates for true triple materiality ESG adoption, we remain curious about the sincerity of these efforts. It’s essential to distinguish between genuine commitment to ESG and greenwashing, where companies merely create the appearance of ESG compliance for marketing purposes. Unfortunately, the gambling industry is not precisely known for its role in contributing to society and has a reputation to focus on maximizing profits and merely aiming for compliance with regulations.

We will do our best being able to attend the next session on ESG in iGaming in order to participate and report directly on the latest developments and discussions and make sure this is not merely a PR and lip-syncing exercise.

BWC’s Commitment:

BWC is currently conducting the first comprehensive evaluation of 20 gaming operators in the UK market. This assessment will serve as a benchmark to gauge the progress made regarding true triple materiality ESG adoption. Our annual evaluation process will only endorse companies that demonstrate leadership in ESG practices, ensuring that they are not just paying lip service to these vital principles.

Ones the available resources become available, we will do the same for other markets, for example Maltese licensed operators active in other markets.

We are committed to promoting ESG within the gaming industry and making it a force for good. Stay tuned for updates on our journey to transform the gaming sector into one that aligns with our vision of a better, more responsible world.

As mentioned, we are keen to see how this unfolds and whether it genuinely brings about positive change in the industry. Your thoughts and insights on this matter are always welcome. Let’s work together to create a gaming industry that embodies the principles of ESG and contributes to a better world.

Sources used:

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