Malta iGaming industry three times bigger since pandemic, PM says

Posted: Nov 16, 2022 14:26 Category: Europe , Events , Regulatory , Posted by Maria Debrincat

Malta’s iGaming industry is outpacing the rest of Europe and is now three times larger than it was prior to the pandemic, the country’s Prime Minister Hon. Robert Abela said in a keynote address at SiGMA Europe.

That compares with the rest of Europe, which is roughly the same size as it was pre-Covid.

In his speech, Abela stressed the government’s commitment to bolster Malta’s gaming sector even further, saying it remains a top priority for the government. 

He said the government must keep in touch with the key players and the employees in this very important industry and is committed to continuing this journey together in a spirit of partnership and cooperation whilst embracing opportunities and addressing new challenges. 

“This is an industry which we are very very proud of. Malta is the home of choice for over 300 gaming firms providing over 10,000 gaming-related opportunities for jobs. Many of the companies are listed on the major stock exchanges boasting a superior level of governance” says Abela. 

Malta’s favourable licencing regime within an EU jurisdiction has enabled the island to establish a large and robust iGaming ecosystem making this country an attractive destination for many companies working in the iGaming industry. 

Despite the recent economic challenges, Abela asserts that the gaming sector in Malta has shown absolutely no sign of slowing down thus proving its huge resilience. 

During the first half of this year, the industry generated a value added to the local economy of EUR712 million, nearly EUR90 million more than the figures from the first half of the previous year.  This sector alone accounted for one-tenth of all the economic growth in the country this year, whereas in the rest of Europe the contribution of the gaming industry was three times less pronounced. 

A diversified economy

Digital sectors were crucial in mitigating the pandemic’s feared negative impact on Malta’s economy showing how important it is for to have a diversified economy that focuses on innovative sectors.

The government is fully committed to building a productive sustainable and inclusive economy, particularly in the gaming sector as this sector is supporting efforts to create skills and enhance the adoption of technologies that will benefit many other industries and create new niches.

“The gaming industry is an integral part of the future. We want to transform risks and challenges into fresh opportunities.

“We want to intensify our efforts and bring the gaming ecosystem closer to the centre of our economic decision-making. The iGaming business community is a crucial partner in this process, Abela says.” 

The Gaming Malta Foundation

The Gaming Malta Foundation will be convening the first meeting of the iGaming council in December providing operators with a platform and opportunities to advise government stakeholders on the policies that directly affect their businesses. 

Hon. Robert Abela says that the government is also working on reducing the specific hurdles that are currently being faced by gaming companies and employees most notably those operating in the financial services sector. “We are fully committed to introducing the right to a basic account for all reputable firms.”

Embracing new challenges

He said that the future belongs to those prepared for it and those who are willing to embrace new challenges. 

“We need to keep reinventing ourselves,” Abela says.

Investing in future opportunities is one of the government’s top priorities as outlined in the economic vision launched last year including the strategy and vision for the video gaming and Esports sectors. 

The Prime Minister closed off his speech by saying that “events such as SiGMA celebrate the spirit of Malta’s economic vision and Malta’s entrepreneurial drive. Eman and his team are living proof of this and I commend their can-do attitude. By working together we will be able to ensure more successful years of this already thriving gaming industry.”

14 – 18 November for SiGMA Europe

Being one of the first European countries to regulate the gaming sector, Malta is a hub of global business. With a plethora of prospects for both investors and entrepreneurs looking to shape the future, SiGMA’s Malta Week event will bring together industry giants among the affiliates, operators, and suppliers of the sector.

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