license granted by the country's Lottery and Gaming Authority allows companies access to more than 400 million European Union residents.
Malta’s highly regulated framework meant a licence issued by the Lottery and Gaming Authority was seen as a seal of quality and trust, enabling more business to be attracted to sites operating under this regime.
Operators, too, have contributed to creating this ‘trusted environment’ through their efforts to comply with laws and regulations, Fenech added, praising the local industry’s stakeholders for their initiative in organising the seminar.
With Malta focusing on being a high-quality jurisdiction, the iGaming industry continues to grow, attracting Tier-1 operators, over 500 licence applications in the past five years and creating over 2,500 jobs in the industry.
Continuing on Fenech’s theme, LGA chairman Nick Xuereb said a further 2,500 jobs had been created indirectly with service providers, while the regulator’s policy is to find the right balance between having an open but properly regulated market and having the required checks and balances in place.
“The two extremes are prohibition and a monopolistic situation,” he said, going on to give reasons for iGaming in Malta with attractions for both local firms and foreign players. A single passport obtained by an iGaming company enabled access to 400 million people in the EU.
Malta offered a product-driven environment with a relative cost advantage, communication in English, and a safe and nice place to live. Xuereb confirmed there are currently 330 active licences for iGaming companies, with 137 pending applications. A further 60 had been rejected or closed.
Licences issued by the LGA are considered internationally to be a seal of quality. Of the e40 million collected annually in taxes from the industry, the majority (42 % or 19 million) came from remote gaming, with the lottery games including Super 5 second on 30 %.
The average age of those employed in the industry is young, with 37 %in the 20-29 age group. These have a graduate or post-graduate level of education. With a third of those being Maltese, the remainder come from 68 nationalities.
He listed three limitations for growth: the economic impact of other markets, and infrastructural and HR factors. The LGA is addressing these issues by listening to and addressing the needs of individual remote gaming companies. It is seeking to enhance the legal and compliance teams within the authority while restructuring some of the ways it operates.