Over 8,000 Employed in Malta’s iGaming IndustryMEDIA ROOM
Along the past decade, iGaming has rapidly grown to become a major stronghold of the Maltese economy, employing over 8,000 people directly or indirectly. Reasonably so, particularly as according to research, the Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR; stakes minus winnings) of online gaming across the EU28 is expected to rise to a staggering €13.27 billion in 2015 from €10.79 billion in 2013.
Executive Chairman of Malta Gaming Authority Joseph Cuschieri outlined his views and plans for the future of the iGaming industry in Malta, in link with the recent rebranding of the authority. He expressed his optimism, in so far as Malta continues to “overcom[e] the challenges and convert opportunities into economic benefits in a timely manner” and described the authority’s transformative process as a step in the right direction in that it is, “Rebranding, yes, but it is so much more than that and a far deeper endeavour. It is substantive and reflective of what we stand for today and in the future. In fact, we have reviewed all of our internal systems and processes, and made significant improvements already.”
It is imperative that Malta upholds its reputation and performance in the sector as both direct and indirect contributions to Malta’s economy resulting from iGaming are highly significant. Mr Cuschieri pointed out that “There are currently 280 companies holding 468 active licenses locally (at end January 2015). In fact, the extent of the economic importance of the gaming sector in Malta is irrefutable. The land-based and remote sectors together contribute more than €52 million a year directly into the state coffers in the forms of gaming taxes.” That does not even factor in the increasing number of jobs that are being created as well as several other services used by these companies such as ICT services, office rents, corporate services and personal services consumed by the employees including rents and other personal expenses.
The desired forward leap also makes room for the legal provision for the establishment of Gaming Malta – a foundation aimed at strengthening Malta’s value proposition as a centre of gaming excellence. Mr Cuschieri reaffirmed that “Our plan, including the overhaul of the regulatory framework, is more than a mere update but an ambitious step forward…” particularly through reaching regulatory and economic objectives.
In a positive concluding note, Mr Cuschieri confirmed that his priority is in line with the desired future for iGaming in Malta, “I am focused on making an increasingly positive contribution to the industry, without any of the avoidable harm to society that is usually associated with gaming. With the political and stakeholder support I am receiving, I am certain that Malta’s future looks encouraging. We have a lot to work for, and a lot to look forward to.”