Malta Gaming Industry - Growth in 2016

| 15 Jul 2019

New Gaming Licence Fees Regulations In Malta

During the first six months of 2016 the Malta Gaming Industry experienced significant growth across all main indicators. 

Gaming Industry Growth Statistics

Latest statistics published by the Malta Gaming Authority indicate that, in the period between January and June 2016, the direct gross value added generated by the Malta Gaming Industry amounted to 12% of GDP. This growth rate represents an increase of 11.9% over the activity registered during the same period in 2015. The Authority explains that the main drivers behind this growth were organic growth in revenue, an expansion in service offerings by various firms, and new investments including the relocation of businesses to Malta.

Employment figures show an impressive 31% growth over the corresponding period in 2015. Direct employment within the industry now accounts for 6150 full-time equivalent jobs. The majority of this growth has been registered in the Remote Gaming sector.  Employment growth was mainly registered in the areas of service delivery, quality and consumer satisfaction and marketing activities.

The growth in value added of the Malta Gaming Industry also translated into higher tax revenues which amounted to €28 million during the first half of 2016. This represented 4.6% of the total indirect tax intake of the Maltese Government during the period. The report explains that the increase in tax revenue was mainly driven by increased activities of gaming parlours and of remote gaming operators which utilise a B2B service licensed by the MGA.

Malta Remote Gaming Sector

With regards to the Remote Gaming sector, the report observes that during the period under review there was a significant increase in active players, which was consistent with the broad-based expansion in gaming industry activity in Malta.  The number of active accounts in remote gaming rose by an average of 31% over the twelve-month period to exceed 14 million by the end of June 2016. This was driven mainly by accounts in the repetitive and event-based game categories. A second notable increase was observed in gaming licences utilising B2B services licensed by the MGA, which increased by over 10% on year-on-year basis to reach 300 licences.

The number of Remote Gaming licences on issue as at June 2016 amounted to 490, an increase of 16 licences over the corresponding period in 2015. In terms of number of companies in operation, there was a decline from 283 to 257 as at June 2016.  The decline is mainly explained by a number of mergers and acquisitions at an international level as well as business consolidation happening within the industry. 

Malta Gaming Industry Growth Outlook

Based on the strength of these figures, 2017 is expected to be another year where growth will be the name of the game. The Malta Gaming Authority is also expected to carry out an overhaul of the regulatory framework which is intended to put the industry in a better position to sustain this growth and retain Malta’s sterling reputation in this industry.

Malta is today recognised as a world-class jurisdiction for regulated online betting and gaming operations. Malta offers exciting opportunities for new market entrants and established operators seeking a well-regulated and tax-friendly environment.

Since the inception of this industry in 2004, Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates has been at the forefront in attracting and advising clients in this industry. We have gained in-depth experience in all facets of the Malta Gaming Industry. Our approach to investment goes beyond the initial advice to obtain the necessary licensees and establish the business in Malta. We strive to sustain a continued relationship with the client by advising on all legal, corporate and tax matters.

Our Gaming Practice

The gaming experts within Chetcuti Cauchi use their wealth of experience to provide solutions and advice to clients wishing to set-up gaming operations in Malta or set-up backup operations within any EU jurisdiction. Understanding the complexity of the industry, the team will work hand-in-hand with other experts within the firm, who will offer advice relating to Corporate and Tax, to ensure any issues which may arise will be duly dealt with. 

The firm’s hands-on experience within the Gaming industry has allowed it to offer high-quality services which cover all aspects of iGaming. Our experts have also used this knowledge to provide their two-cents worth on what the future of such technologies can bring about. In fact, numerous thought-provoking articles have been published, outlining what the future can hold when such developments are embraced, rather than restricted. 

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Key Contacts

Dr Charlene Mifsud

Partner, Corporate & Commercial

+356 2205 6298

Dr Priscilla Mifsud Parker

Senior Partner, Corporate, Tax & Immigration

+356 22056122

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