Malta is considered one of the world’s leading online gambling hubs, with hundreds of firms opting to operate out of the territory, such as malta casinos not on gamstop.
Online gambling statistics in Malta
Malta Gambling Authority (MGA) chairman Joseph Cuschieri recently explained that the country is becoming “a major jurisdiction for most operators in the [online gambling] industry.”
Malta’s extraordinary success in the online gambling industry is largely due to the online gambling regulations passed in 2004. This law gave sports betting and casino websites a clear framework to operate from, which meant that they could expand with confidence.
As the following statistics on online gambling show, this early move paid dividends.
Overview of gambling in Malta
Online gambling involves placing a bet on the outcome of a game (sports or gambling) over the Internet, using a payment processor or even cryptocurrency. Allowed online gambling in Malta includes online casinos, online sports betting and online poker.
The size of Malta’s online gambling market
For a country with a population of half a million, Malta’s position as an online gambling leader is impressive. According to industry forecasts, the global online gambling market will be worth $94.4 billion by 2024, and Malta is a key player in this market. 10% of the world’s online gambling companies are registered in Malta, so a significant portion of global revenue is handled by businesses based there.
According to the MGA’s December 2019 interim report, online gaming accounts for an impressive 13.6% of the value of the Maltese economy, amounting to around $2 billion. Even during the pandemic, this figure fell to around 12% of GDP.
Which online gambling companies operate in Malta?
As of June 2020, 303 companies had online gaming licenses in the territory. Of these, there are four types of licenses:
- Casino-style games, lotteries and slot machines – 49%
- Sports betting – 37%
- P2P, betting exchanges, skins, tournaments and bingo – 11%
- Software providers charge a betting commission – 3%
The island is home to several big names in online gambling, including Betsson, Tipico and Betfair. Other important employers include:
- LeoVegas, one of the leading mobile gaming companies. The company was founded in Sweden in 2011 by Gustav Hagman and Robin Ramm-Erickson. The company employs around 300 people in Malta and Sweden (the largest office is in Malta).
- In 2019, Bet365 announced a move to Malta from Gibraltar (citing Brexit uncertainty), taking more than 500 employees with it.
- William Hill opened a satellite in the country in 2018 to allow the company to continue operating in the EU after Brexit.
Gambling business in Malta – employment statistics
Malta’s online gambling industry attracts highly skilled professionals from around the world. Despite the pandemic, employment in the sector actually increased last year, from 6,593 in December 2019 to 7,196 in June 2020 (with a working age population of around 250,000). Moreover, 3,000-4,000 people are employed in various support services, including web hosting, legal work and marketing.
The government is also working hard to attract people to work in the online gaming sector. Qualified recruits to the online gaming sector are now offered a 15 percent payroll tax cap by the Maltese government.
How popular are online games in Malta?
The local population (around half a million people) is also a fan of online gambling:
- An MGA report shows that 56% of the population regularly participates in gambling.
- Around 4,200 Maltese play online games every week.
- The average gamer spends 49 minutes a week on an online gaming site.
- Remote gaming is most popular among people aged 18 to 24, followed by the 43 to 59 age group.
Information on applying for a licence
The ability to apply for a gaming licence in Malta comes with the following processes:
- Application fees vary depending on the type of licence and size of business, but typically start at €25,000 and go up to around €500,000 for large and complex companies.
- Annual licence renewal costs €25,000.
- There is no gaming tax (unless the client is from Malta – you have to pay 5% tax on income from Maltese clients).
- It usually takes 12-16 weeks to obtain a licence.
- The corporate tax rates are an effective 5%
So, the pros of online casinos in Malta include a wide range of casinos, easy depositing and withdrawal tools, stability of legislation in the territory, and casinos spread outside the territory.
The disadvantages are that organisations in Malta are not subject to the jurisdiction of other legal authorities.