Carl Brincat to Depart Malta Gaming Authority
In a surprising announcement, Carl Brincat, the Chief Executive Officer of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), disclosed that he would be stepping down from his role in January 2024. However, he emphasized that this decision should not be interpreted as a resignation but rather as a natural conclusion to his three-year term as CEO.
A Transition of Leadership at Malta Gaming Authority
Carl Brincat has been at the helm of the MGA since 2021, overseeing the critical operations of the iGaming industry regulator in Malta. In an exclusive interview with The Shift, Brincat clarified that he is not resigning from his position but, instead, he has chosen not to renew his three-year contract, in line with the terms laid out in his initial agreement with the authority.
The Cease of Brincat's CEO Tenure
Carl Brincat’s tenure as the CEO of the MGA will officially conclude in January 2024. While his decision to not seek contract renewal might raise questions, he firmly maintained that it was a planned, mutually agreed-upon transition, following the stipulations in his contract.
A Denial of Conflict with Economy Minister Silvio Schembri
Addressing rumors of potential disagreements with Economy Minister Silvio Schembri, the official responsible for the authority, Brincat firmly denied any such issues. He emphasized that he maintains a strong, cooperative relationship with Minister Schembri, categorically dismissing any allegations of a strained professional association.
The Transition Plan and Garden Leave
Although Brincat is yet to unveil his next professional chapter, he revealed that he will adhere to the existing regulations, including a six-month period of “garden leave.” During this time, he will be restricted from engaging in any work related to clients of the MGA. This garden leave policy is in line with the revolving door policy introduced by the Maltese Government in 2020, which mandates a cooling-off period for senior officials transitioning to the private sector.
The Landscape of Malta's Gaming Industry
In the eyes of industry insiders, Carl Brincat’s future seems likely to lead him into the private sector, as has been the trajectory for many former MGA officials in the past. While he was well-compensated with an annual package amounting to approximately €110,000 during his tenure at the MGA, sources within the gaming industry suggest that he stands to earn significantly more in the private gaming sector.
Enforcement of the ‘Garden Leave' Policy
Notably, the effectiveness of the ‘garden leave’ policy has been a subject of debate. Industry sources have raised concerns that this policy is not consistently enforced by the government and has, in fact, been breached by various officials in recent years. This raises questions about the actual impact of this policy on preventing conflicts of interest.
A Departure Without Scandal
One distinctive aspect of Brincat’s departure is the absence of any significant scandal, setting it apart from his predecessors. Unlike Heathcliff Farrugia, who left his position amid allegations of passing insider information to a casino operator and later faced criminal charges, Brincat’s exit remains unmarred by controversy.
The Legacies of Brincat's Predecessors
Heathcliff Farrugia’s sudden exit was marked by a tumultuous scandal, yet he continues to work in the gaming industry. Before Farrugia, the former head of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), Joseph Cuschieri, left the regulator with a legacy of abuse and nepotism. Notably, Cuschieri’s association with Portomaso casino boss Yorgen Fenech on a Las Vegas holiday trip, accompanied by his then-chief legal officer, Edwina Licari, led to his departure from the MFSA.
The Evolving MGA
During Brincat’s tenure, the MGA issued a record number of direct orders, and its spending increased significantly. This period has seen several changes and developments in the regulatory landscape of Malta’s gaming industry.
Why is Carl Brincat leaving the Malta Gaming Authority?
Carl Brincat is not resigning but will be stepping down as the CEO when his three-year contract ends in January 2024.
Are there any disagreements with Economy Minister Silvio Schembri?
Carl Brincat denied any conflicts with Economy Minister Silvio Schembri and affirmed their strong working relationship.
What is the ‘garden leave’ policy, and how long will Brincat be on it?
The ‘garden leave’ policy is a six-month period during which Brincat cannot engage in work related to MGA clients or the gaming industry.
Where is Carl Brincat likely to work after leaving the MGA?
Industry insiders suggest that Brincat is likely to transition to the private gaming sector, where he can potentially earn more.
How does the ‘garden leave’ policy impact senior officials transitioning to the private sector?
The ‘garden leave’ policy aims to prevent conflicts of interest by mandating a cooling-off period for senior officials transitioning to the private sector.
Why is Brincat’s departure different from his predecessors at the MGA?
Unlike his predecessors, Carl Brincat’s departure is not marred by significant scandal.
Who are Brincat’s predecessors at the Malta Gaming Authority?
Heathcliff Farrugia and Joseph Cuschieri are notable predecessors, each with their unique legacies and controversies.
What were the issues surrounding Heathcliff Farrugia’s departure?
Heathcliff Farrugia left amid allegations of passing insider information to a casino operator and later faced criminal charges.
Why did Joseph Cuschieri leave the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA)?
Joseph Cuschieri’s departure from MFSA was prompted by his association with a casino boss on a Las Vegas holiday trip, which reached the press.
How has the Malta Gaming Authority evolved during Brincat’s tenure?
During Brincat’s time as CEO, the MGA issued a record number of direct orders, and its spending increased significantly, reflecting changes and developments in the regulatory landscape.
I like to keep it short. I am a writer who also knows how to rhyme his lines. I can write articles, edit them and also carve out some poetic lines from my mind. Education B.A. - English, Delhi University, India, Graduated 2017.