Online gaming industry hotspot Malta is future-proofing the industry

  • Transparent regulatory regime encouraging iGaming brands to the country
  • Malta’s iGaming sector growing 5% year-on-year

The iGaming sector in Malta is very much alive and well. The island’s jurisdiction is now the largest on the planet for online gaming and Joseph Cuschieri, executive chairman of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), is already planning for future growth areas within the sector.

Malta: an undisputed hotbed of talent for the gaming industry

It leaves no doubts about Malta’s position as the capital of iGaming in Europe at present, thanks in no small part to its innovation and vision to create a regulatory environment that’s enticing the continent’s biggest and best talent to its shores.

Undisputed talent hub

The island’s online gaming industry is currently growing by 5% each year. That growth is largely down to the Maltese philosophy of not over-regulating the industry, and encouraging firms to move to the country and work out of Malta whilst operating in other jurisdictions.

The country was also the inaugural jurisdiction to develop the idea of needing a licence to operate online in the iGaming sphere.

Around two-thirds of Malta’s online gaming sector are expats, with specialists from all areas of the industry moving to the island, creating an undisputed talent hub.

And Malta as a nation has benefitted greatly from its new iGaming identity. The arrival of thousands of online gaming professionals has done wonders for the Maltese economy in terms of property, rent, entertainment and other services.

“The gaming sector in Malta is doing very well. We are growing around 5% year on year. This year we are expecting to grow about 5% which is quite good, it is meeting our expectations.”
Joseph Cuschieri, executive chairman of the Malta Gaming Authority

Futureproofing the industry

However, Mr Cuschieri recently told The Worldfolio that plans are afoot to breathe new life into Malta’s iGaming jurisdiction in order to futureproof its industry, acknowledging the need for innovation and tech, whilst listening to customer demands around new iGaming markets.

“MGA was an innovator in the past, a role model, and we want to be an innovator now again,” he said.

“Our regulation is going to introduce more simplification in our licensing process. It is going to start catering for different forms of games which have developed over the last recent years, like fantasy sports for example, e-sports and games of skill.”

Mr Cuschieri was forthright in saying that the MGA would be looking more towards the licensing of games itself, packaging them as a system and not considering the medium on which it is consumed. Licensing the medium upon which iGamers consume the games is clearly an outdated concept, given that players can access games from a plethora of media today.

This would futureproof Malta’s iGaming sector from technological developments with 5G connectivity soon to follow which will speed up the sports betting process on smartphone devices.

The real success of Malta’s iGaming industry is the way it has constructed its own unique ecosystem, with a flexible and agile approach to iGaming regulation that not only focuses on legislation but also investment in the technical capabilities of its iGaming workforce.

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