Maltese & Italian authorities in new collaboration to tackle crime in gambling Luke Haward, CDC Gaming Reports · December 5, 2018 at 7:00 pm The Parliamentary Secretary of Financial Services & Digital Economy in Malta, Silvio Schembri, announced last week that Malta and Italy would sign a new collaboration aimed at improving their mutual ability to deal with irregular activity in the gambling world. The collaboration will serve as a means for the countries’ regulatory powers to better share intelligence. Schembri referred to this new collaboration as strengthening Malta’s “already excellent” reputation for tackling criminal activity in his speech to the KPMG Gaming eSummit last week. This statement sits in some contrast to the two nations’ prior attempt at collaboration on this matter. Earlier this year, Maltese authorities came under severe criticism from the noted Italian prosecutor Nicola Gratteri. Speaking to OCCRP, the Organised Crime & Corruption Reporting Project, Gratteri was quoted as saying that Malta had been known to fail to respond to an enquiry for “six months or a year,” rendering any subsequent investigations “useless”. Hopefully this new collaboration will give rise to a more efficient exchange of intelligence and a more robust and secure gambling sector across both countries. The announcement comes on the heels of an enormous mafia-related gambling ring bust across multiple nations in Europe by Italian and international authorities in November. This was said to be linked to a cross-section of organised criminal groups that were generally more tech savvy. It does seem that there is greater willingness on the part of authorities to prosecute high profile cases against the Italian and Sicilian Mafia than has been seen in previous years. The tide might be turning on international collaborations against organized crime, too.