“Malta’s iGaming industry is three times bigger since the pandemic”, says Prime Minister Robert Abela

Malta’s iGaming industry is outpacing the rest of Europe and is now three times bigger than before the pandemic, according to Prime Minister Robert Abela’s speech at SiGMA Europe.

The rest of Europe is roughly the same size as it was before Covid-19. In his address, Abela emphasized the government’s commitment to further strengthening Malta’s gaming sector, saying it remains a priority for the government.

The Prime Minister stated that the government must maintain contact with the main players and representatives of this very important sector and is committed to continuing this journey in a spirit of partnership and cooperation, embracing opportunities and facing new challenges.

“This is an industry we are very proud of. Malta is the home of choice for over 300 gaming companies, offering over 10,000 gaming-related job opportunities. Many of the companies are listed on the main stock exchanges with a superior level of governance”, says Abela.

Malta’s favorable licensing regime within a European Union (EU) jurisdiction has enabled the island to establish a large and robust iGaming ecosystem, making this country an attractive destination for many companies working in the industry.

Despite the recent economic challenges, Abela stated that the gaming sector in Malta has shown absolutely no signs of slowing down, thus proving its enormous resilience.

In the first half of this year, the industry generated added value to the local economy of 712 million euros, around 90 million euros more than in the first half of the previous year. This sector alone accounted for a tenth of all economic growth in the country in 2022.

A diversified economy

Digital sectors were crucial in mitigating the feared negative impact of the pandemic on Malta’s economy, showing how important it is to have a diversified economy focused on innovative sectors.

The government is fully committed to building a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy, particularly in the gaming sector, as this market is supporting efforts to build skills and improve the adoption of technologies that will benefit many other industries and create new niches.

“The gaming industry is an integral part of the future. We want to turn risks and challenges into new opportunities. We want to intensify our efforts and bring the gaming ecosystem closer to the center of our economic decisions. The iGaming business community is a crucial partner in this process,” he said.

The Malta Gaming Foundation

The Gaming Malta Foundation will convene the first iGaming board meeting in December, providing operators with a platform and opportunities to advise government stakeholders on policies that directly affect their business.

According to Robert Abela, the government is also working to reduce the specific obstacles being faced by gaming companies and employees, particularly those operating in the financial services sector. “We are fully committed to introducing the right to a basic account for all reputable businesses.”

Embracing new challenges

The Prime Minister of Malta stressed that the future belongs to those who are willing to embrace new challenges. “We need to keep reinventing ourselves,” says Abela.

“Events like SiGMA celebrate the spirit of Malta’s economic vision and Malta’s entrepreneurial drive. Eman and his team are living proof of that and I commend their positive attitude. By working together, we will be able to secure more years of success in this already thriving gaming industry.”