At present there is global appetite for all forms of online betting and casino games. Bolstered by easy-access smartphone use, high-tech solutions and user friendly experiences.
What is iGaming?
iGaming entails all kinds of online gambling. Also the betting of money on the outcome of an event or sporting competition on the internet. Players need an internet connection, computer or smartphone to enjoy this activity.
iGaming activities provided by companies comprise of online casinos. Games such as poker or bingo, lotteries, fixed odds betting, fantasy sports and skill games. Casino games make up the biggest share of the online gaming market. Followed by sports betting.
This industry jam-packed with innovative ideas, fresh talent and opportunities. Experiencing aggressive growth in the past years it shows no sign of slowing down soon.
New technologies develop the iGaming industry further. With smartphones spreaheading innovation. Tastes change and new tools appear on the market.
All about iGaming in Malta
The iGaming industry contributes around 9% of Malta’s GDP. Malta is home to more than 250 online gaming firms. The iGaming industry employs around 8,000 full time employees. Malta has created enticing regulatory conditions for this sector to flourish. Being proactive and updating its laws and regulations. To an ever changing and dynamic environment. Malta established and maintained its position at the forefront of the iGaming industry.
With the turn of the millennium, it came out at the forefront to regularize the iGaming industry. In 2004, it was the first EU Member State to legislate online gaming. It provided the first regulatory framework by publishing the Remote Gaming Regulations. Later enacting the Gaming Act which came into force in August 2018. The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the only autonomous body on the island. It regulates and monitors all online gaming companies established in Malta.
The Malta Gaming Authority maintains the island’s competitive edge. This through the development of new initiatives. These enable Malta to remain a center of excellence. Besides a professional and reputable jurisdiction. The MGA works hard to safeguard the industry’s operators. Through continuous renewal of benefits. It seeks to attract new operators to set up here. Also ensures that existing companies continue to carry on their business in Malta.
The iGaming industry in Malta is continuing to build on its successful past. This is due to a sound jurisdiction with lean bureaucracy. Though other countries try to come in line to Malta’s regulatory approach. The MGA continues to develop the proper environment. To ensure online gaming operators feel safe and secure.
The set up of Gaming Malta and Gaming Academy enhances Malta’s view as an iGaming jurisdiction. Both for operators and its ancillary services. This proactive approach complimented by the island’s favorable tax incentives. Such as the tax refund system led to innovation and hefty investment in this sector. Licenced operators take advantage of the advanced technical capabilities. Coupled with the rather low labour costs.
The flourishing iGaming industry in Malta has seen years of impressive growth. This is expected to continue in the future.
Starting your own iGaming Company in Malta
A couple of steps you need to follow to set up an iGaming company in Malta.
The first step is to apply for an iGaming licence with the Malta Gaming Authority. Companies which operate an online gaming company in or from Malta must get a valid licence.
The type of licence issued depends on the types of games offered and the services provided. Before the licence is issued it is necessary to undertake a systems audit test.
The application needs to be backed up by a business plan and share capital. The required share capital depends on the type of licence applied for. Type 1 and 2 operators need at least a €100,000. While type 3 and 4 operators need at least €40,000.
The iGaming licence is valid for 5 years. On a regular basis all iGaming operators undertake audits. Performed by appointed independent gaming professionals.
Types of iGaming Licenses in Malta
iGaming licences issued by the MGA fall into one of four different categories. These being:
- Type 1 – Online casinos which provide repetitive games or games of chance.
- Type 2 – Issued to gambling businesses accepting online bets on certain events.
- Type 3 – Granted to operators of poker rooms, bingo games, betting pools and betting exchanges.
- Type 4 – Issued to B2B businesses. Such as iGaming software providers, online games and hosting suppliers.
The Cost of a Maltese iGaming Licence
The Maltese iGaming licence fees are reasonable when compared to other countries. B2C operators which have type 1, 2 and 3 licences are subject to a non-refundable fixed annual fee. Paid in advance upon the issue of license amounting to €25,000 and an administrative fee of €5,000.
B2B operators are charged an annual fee ranging from €25,000 to €35,000. The charge is subject to gaming revenue generated. If the licencee provides critical gaming supplies to type 4 game providers a reduced licence fee of €10,000 applies. Such supplies comprise back-office related services being provision and maintenance of software.
Additionally B2C licenced gaming service providers have to pay a yearly compliance contribution. The amount charged varies on the revenue generated. Licenced B2B companies do not pay a compliance contribution.
Compliance contribution differs according to the type of licence held by the operator.
- For type 1 operators the charge is between €15,000 and €375,000;
- For type 2 operators the charge is between €25,000 and €600,000;
- For type 3 operators the charge is between €25,000 and €500,000;
- For type 4 operators the charge is between €5,000 and €500,000.
Licenced B2C startups are exempt from paying their compliance contributions for one year.
Advantages of establishing an iGaming Business in Malta
Malta has an upper hand when it come to setting up shop here. As a country it raised the iGaming industry as the world’s most imposing. It was successful in attracting the biggest names in the industry to the island.
Let’s take a more detailed evaluation about why Malta has an upper hand when it come to setting up shop here.
Being an EU Member State provides companies based here the benefit of freedom to provide cross-border services. Malta was the first EU Member State to enact a regulatory framework. Later establishing the Gaming Act. This gave Malta a cutting edge expertise in the field. Other EU member states followed suit only after a few years.
Malta’s legislative framework incorporates all the EU Directives. The Gaming Act, Gaming Regulations and Anti-Money Laundering Act, make it a robust regulatory jurisdiction. Besides the MGA is an effective and efficient regulator.
As with all other companies iGaming companies are subject to corporate tax. Hence, companies incorporated in Malta or deriving income in Malta are subject to tax. Companies avail themselves from specific tax incentives reducing the effective tax rate. This is set at 5% through prudent tax planning and structuring.
Online gaming licence fees in Malta are considered to be inexpensive.
Malta has specialized iGaming recruitment agencies facilitating the recruitment of required employees. The available workforce consists of experienced people from all over the world. You will find experienced, knowledgeable multi-lingual professionals.
Being a hub to the world’s iGaming industry Malta is jam-packed with events. Such as fairs, exhibitions and conferences. These encourage and promote innovative ideas and help enrich the market.
Malta’s continuing commitment to this industry is clear. Through the establishment of Gaming Malta and the iGaming Academy. Consistent expenditure in modern technology, supported by a young, qualified workforce.
The island has a mild Mediterranean climate. It provides a good deal of sunlight hours and lovely beaches. It offers a cosmopolitan lifestyle and a safe and secure environment. Amazing entertainment spots with exceptional quality of life.
Malta has excellent flight connections to Europe facilitating cross-continent networking. Its political climate is stable and pro-business coupled with a strong economy. It boosts an outstanding high-tech telecommunications infrastructure. Malta is a regional ICT hub.
Events in Malta
Malta is busy all year round with many events and conferences to attend. Whether you are a startup or a big brand you are bound to attend these events. Some of the world’s great and prominent events happen here.
- NEXT: This event brings together operators and suppliers. To talk about future gaming developments in a digital context. This event is full of networking opportunities. Besides having professional industry speakers who receive TED training.
- iGaming IDOL: This is the world’s leading iGaming awards event. To praise and award individuals shaping the future of the industry. Designed for and by professionals. Nominated for the awards are talented and skilled specialists. Awards are for a variety of categories.
- SiGMA iGaming Malta: Advertised and promoted as the world’s leading online gaming festival. Known for spearheading talks by decision-makers on a variety of high-tech subjects.
- The Malta Gaming Awards: An annual awards event linked to SiGMA. This event brings together suppliers, brands and event leaders. It seeks to reward high achievers in the industry.
Operators in the iGaming industry still view the market as favourable. With potential of exponential growth over the decades to come. As the smartphone market has outstanding technology and a growing number of users.
Malta is the prime destination for iGaming companies to start their business operations. Now established as the industry leader in iGaming. An attractive place to start a business in this sector. Given its well established experience in the industry. Its regulatory framework, clear and rapid licencing procedures and tax incentives. Malta offers a flourishing scene. In one of the world’s exhilarating and profitable industries.