No conflict of interest for new Malta Gaming Authority chief as MPs give her the nod

Marlene Seychell is expected to be the next chairperson of the Malta Gaming Authority after her nomination was cleared by a parliamentary committee on Wednesday

Marlene Seychell will be the new Malta Gaming Authority chairperson
Marlene Seychell will be the new Malta Gaming Authority chairperson

Businessperson Marlene Seychell has told MPs she does not sit on the board of a company involved in gaming, as alleged by a newspaper report, as she sat for her scrutiny in Parliament.

Seychell was responding this afternoon to questions from MPs at her scrutiny in front of Parliament’s Public Appointments Committee after she was appointed by the government to serve as non-executive chairperson of the Malta Gaming Authority.

The Times of Malta reported on Wednesday that Seychell sat on the board of a company that ran bingo hall operations licenced by the Malta Gaming Authority.

Seychell said this was incorrect. She sat on the board of Main Street Complex, which hosts a bingo hall operator.

Seychell said she received legal advice that she had no conflict of interest. She said relations between Main Street and the tenants at the shopping complex were handled by the management, not directors.

Answering a question by Nationalist MP Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici, Seychell confirmed that the Main Street board was chaired by Joe Gasan, who was co-owenr of the company running the bingo hall.

However, Seychell said she was prepared to give up the directorship at Main Street if this was required.

Seychell, who despite having a successful business career has no experience in the gaming sector, said she would be giving priority to the fight against money laundering.

“My job, together with the board of the authority, is to set the compass. The challenges and the risks for this sector are changing and we have to elevate Malta as a respectful jurisdiction, while striving to attract other operators,” Seychell said.

She said the authority had to work diligently and hand-in-hand with other regulators to combat wrongdoing.

“This is an enormous responsibility I am being entrusted with. This is an industry that contributes 12% of GDP and I want to fulfil my role with responsibility and integrity,” she said.

The committee, chaired by Labour MP Edward Zammit Lewis, approved her nomination.

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