Malta is located bang in the middle of the Mediterranean, just south of Sicily. Its unique history includes spells of overrule by the Kingdom of Sicily, the British Crown and even the Knights Hospitaller.
Today, Malta is known for being a holiday destination, perfect for travellers who want to soak up the sun, sea and sand, while relishing the rich combination of history, culture and entertainment.
Apart from a thriving tourism industry that generates a fair amount of revenue, Malta’s gambling market has been going from strength to strength for well over a decade. It’s been considered a sunny paradise island with a sun kissed population, living in modern seaside properties and dressed in fashionable business casuals.
Although a relatively small island, Malta has certainly made waves in the online gambling scene, reminiscent of the Las Vegas' gambling boom back in the 1960s. Indeed, the increase of various trendy portals based in Malta is a testament to this growth.
How Malta Became An Online Gambling Hub
Malta had a plan for economic success over three decades ago. Back in the 1990s, it was already clear that online gambling was already making headway. Indeed, other countries also recognised the opportunity of this growing trend. Thanks to the introduction and implementation of the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act in 1994, Antigua and Barbuda was the first to capitalise on this fast-growing and lucrative industry.
Eventually, this set the scene for them to become hugely successful in the online gaming sector, paving the way for the Maltese government to follow suit. Soon, Malta would become a trailblazer within the online gaming world, constructing a licensing system which would be recognised internationally.
Since 2007, Malta has become the online gambling hub of Europe. These were still the adolescent days of online gambling, but Malta had already passed legislation that permitted Malta-registered companies to offer online casino gaming services to players that could be based anywhere in the world. Simultaneously, the UK had just announced that it would charge a 15% duty on any profits generated from online gambling. This was when things started to sway in Malta’s favour.
Since then, Malta’s online gambling scene grew leaps and bounds. Online casino operators flocked to the sunny island that offered lenient regulations, meagre taxation and dreamy standards of life. Malta’s migrant casino industry employees have been growing for many years and working for all sorts of casino operators, game developers and even regulators. Essentially, thousands of local Maltese people experience a direct and positive financial impact as a result of Malta being one of the world’s biggest online gambling hubs.
The Makings of an Attractive Location for Online Gambling Companies
There’s no denying the fact that the casino industry is affluent with many investors keen on setting up shop in various jurisdictions. Yet one main hurdle many potential operators come across at present is the stringent gambling regulations many countries have in place. Fortunately, Malta is considered a bright gem within the gambling realm, serving as a gambling haven for said prospective investors. And for outsiders who may doubt the isle’s credibility within this sector, one can rest assured that its gambling activities are regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority.
Previously known as ‘The Lotteries and Gaming Authority’ the MGA put Malta on the map when it was established in 2001. It regulates almost all the gambling activity in the region, from brick and mortar casinos to online gambling sites and gambling services. In a nutshell, it is a governing body in charge of granting licenses to operators. What’s more, on an international level, the MGA is considered to be one of the most valued institutions within the industry.
A Win-Win Situation
Because it was one of the first online gambling regulators, the MGA introduced legislation that set the stage for a secure environment ensuring that both players and online casino providers were safeguarded. In fact, one of the first from a series of regulations and directives was The Lotteries and other Games Act of 2001.
Owing to the strict regulations which need to be adhered to, Malta’s economy has been able to hugely benefit from the assets and knowledge that have been fostered on the island. This, in turn, has led to an increase in employment, so much so, it has been estimated that gaming contributed around €1.56 billion to the Malta’s economy in 2019 alone.
Feasible and Fair Regulations
With a fair deal of bureaucracy behind establishing and implementing a reputable gambling operation, many investors might feel daunted by absurd and overly-stringent screening conventions. So it’s no wonder that Malta sets itself apart from other potential destinations, because it’s undoubtedly the go-to place for many online gambling companies. That being said, the MGA does have strict rules in place – and rightly so. After all, granting licenses requires an amount of scrutiny and is certainly not taken lightly. That being said, the governing body is also known to be consistent and fair in their execution of laws. Moreover it is deemed to be very easy to work thanks to their efficient processes.
Perhaps one of the best features of Malta’s gambling laws (despite their meticulous and thorough nature), is the fact that transparency is provided to operators, giving them a clear picture of expectations. Indeed, its legislators invested a good amount of time and effort into creating such protocols which were designed to appeal to international casinos. All these factors certainly make the experience all the more compelling for prospective investors.
An Educated Nation Coupled with A Healthy Gambling Culture
Malta prides itself in being home to an educated populace. Having skilled professionals is an indispensable piece to the puzzle that makes up the iGaming sector. It’s an island that boasts of having a pool of talent, which naturally appeals to many casino operators who seek promising potential. This community of reliable professionals guarantees the strong and consistent growth in the local economy while also enhancing the gambling market on an international level.
And if that weren’t enough, Malta’s propensity towards gambling is a healthy one, looking at it as a form of recreation rather than profitable living, making it one of its selling points when promoting tourism. Ultimately, there are so many advantages for casino operators to make a name for themselves within Maltese territory. This vigorous amalgamation of good governance, judicious policies, strong tourism, and a prosperous gambling culture, Malta indubitably presents itself as an excellent value proposition for casino operators worldwide.