The iGaming Industry Has Strengthened Malta’s Economy – and It’s Only Going to Get Better
The iGaming industry had the positive effects on the county’s economy, and there is certainly room to grow
The iGaming industry is a relatively young sector, and only came into existence shortly before the turn of the millennium. Even so, in that short space of time, it has expanded and evolved at an astonishing rate. In 2009, the size of the online gambling market was $20.51 billion. That is projected to almost triple by 2020, when the market is estimated to be worth $59.79 billion. This flourishing sector has emerged as a great way for countries to boost their economies, and one place that is reaping the rewards of the world’s continued love of iGaming is Malta. The industry has had a great impact on the country which should continue for many years to come.
IGaming in Malta
Malta is home to around 300 gaming companies, 450 licences, and a workforce of over 10,000 people in the iGaming industry. The industry contributes $1.41 billion to the country’s economy, which is equivalent to 12 percent of GDP. This is why SiGMA has already held three exhibitions in the country, and has a fourth event scheduled for November this year. There are numerous speakers set to appear over the course of two days, with subjects including European Fantasy Sports, Blockchain and Disruptive Tech. Events like this not only help existing companies recruit talent to suit their needs, they also illustrate the potential for other iGaming companies to set up shop in the country.
As it stands, there are some well-known companies already operating on the small Southern European Island. There are various iGaming developers on the island, and also some well-known developers from other sectors, such as mobile. King, for instance, is the leading interactive gaming company for the mobile world, and is famous for games like Candy Crush Saga and Farm Heroes Saga. Gaming operators abound too, including online casino Betway Casino, which is registered in Malta and licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority since 2006. Because there are so many jobs in this booming gaming market, there are also a number of major recruitment businesses operating alongside the industry. These include iGaming Elite, who specialise in recruitment for leading players in the iGaming market, and Pentasia Malta, who recruit candidates for specialist digital entertainment, technology, and iGaming jobs in Malta.
Why do Companies Keep Choosing Malta
There are several reasons why Malta has emerged as such a prime location for iGaming companies to set up shop and thrive. The fact that it is a member of the European Union and is situated at a strategic point at the heart of the Mediterranean has made the country an attractive prospect for companies looking to settle there. Operating in the country means business owners can offer their employees a good quality of life with economic stability. The country is also home to a strong and stable regulatory framework called the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), and this seeks to benefit both operators and players. They aim to ensure that gaming is fair and operators follow legislation and best practices. This can make companies based in Malta look more attractive to potential customers. Players who know that an online casino, for instance, is regulated by such a world-renowned gaming authority, are more likely to trust that it is safe and want to play there. Sites that aren’t regulated by such stern authorities could scare some players off.
Gaming Malta has helped to promote Malta as a remote gaming centre of excellence in recent years, and continues to boost the country’s reputation as an unparalleled location for iGaming companies. The company is an affiliate of the MGA, and is also responsible for liaising with the local relevant authorities to “improve Malta’s attractiveness as a jurisdiction and enhance the ecosystem surrounding the gaming industry.”
How the iGaming Industry is Set to Grow Further
As an already well-established powerhouse in the iGaming industry, Malta looks set to prosper even further in the years to come. As noted above, the market is growing at an alarming rate, and this is thanks to the fact that technology is rapidly advancing alongside it. Developers in the industry have proved time and time again that they can adapt and evolve to coincide with the most recent gaming trends. A few years ago, developers began scrambling to create iGaming offerings for mobile, as the mobile gaming market emerged as such a powerhouse with the rise of smartphones. Mobile gaming apps alone generated revenue of $41.5 billion in 2016.
Although mobile is still the platform of choice, people are predicting big things for virtual reality as well, so developers are also beginning to create content for that. According to Grand View Research, the VR market is expected to rise to $45.09 billion by 2025, and all the players in the iGaming industry will be looking for a slice of the pie. Developers like NetEnt and Microgaming are currently leading the way on the new platform with their VR slots and VR Roulette respectively.
Opening up to the iGaming industry and moving to attract more companies to Malta has proven to be a masterstroke for the country. The fact that the market is growing at an alarming rate and has the potential to be worth so much more, means that Malta will reap the rewards for many more years to come.
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