The recently released figures from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) have shown that regulated gambling earned well over $655.6 million for the local economy during the six months ended on June 30. This represents an impressive 10% year on year increase and a 12% hike in total value for the economy of Malta, creating an 11.8% year on year climb overall.
Gaming tax revenues earned by the region also came to an impressive $497 million, representing a 5.5% indirect tax intake increase. These gains were primarily driven by a 6% hike in the number of online gambling companies that have been licensed under the MGA’s jurisdiction since H2 2016.
6,400 Jobs Created In H1 2017
The MGA also highlighted the number of new jobs created by these revenue increases, with initial estimates revealing at least 6,400 full-time jobs having been created by the local iGaming industry as of June 2017. The regulator also noted that total employment rates in the iGaming sector have reached around 9,000 full-time jobs, including indirect employment roles.
The impressive growth posted by the MGA has given the regulator hope that these increases will continue throughout the rest of this year and into 2018 as well. This performance will no doubt be boosted by a regulatory framework overhaul in the region, which will continue to streamline and ‘future-proof’ all of its gaming sectors and further align the MGA with international player protection standards.
Big Regulatory Changes For Malta
Regulatory changes for H1 2017 in Malta included the MGA’s introduction of new licensing category for controlled skills-based games back in January. 13 of these licenses were issued in the first half, 10 of which were for B2C operators and the remaining 3 of which were awarded to suppliers.
Another essential development for the MGA was its sandbox test to assess the potential impact that the introduction of cryptocurrency gaming may have on the iGaming industry. The first interim reports for the study, which include notes on the use of digital currencies like Bitcoin, are still to be released.
Overall, Malta’s H1 results have provided proof that the region is well on its way to creating an ideal regulatory structure, including significant job and revenue increases. Any regulatory jurisdiction would do well to follow the MGA’s example, according to experts, who are encouraging iGaming professionals to watch the MGA’s space for further positive developments to come.