Did you know that the global online gaming market is expected to reach $94.4 billion by 2024? With booming revenues and the ability to reach customers practically anywhere in the world, now is an exciting time to launch an iGaming start up.
If you have a promising idea for a gambling or betting business, the next question is to decide where you will base your new company. In many jurisdictions, online gaming is either prohibited, or entrepreneurs face multiple restrictions, confusing licencing processes and high tax rates. It is therefore essential to set up somewhere which makes running a gaming business as easy as possible.
If you already have experience in the gaming sector, there is no doubt that you will be familiar with Malta and its position as the global leader for online gaming. Almost 300 online casinos, sports betting firms, lotteries and other entertainment businesses call the Mediterranean island nation home.
Hundreds of major games companies have either moved to base themselves in the country or started up in Malta. Should you join them?
Five reasons to launch your iGaming business in Malta
There are several countries around the world which are popular destinations for online gaming firms, including the UK, Gibraltar, Germany, Sweden and the Philippines. Nevertheless, tiny Malta remains the world’s iGaming capital. Here are five reasons you should consider basing yourself there:
An incredible ecosystem
Malta was the first country in the EU to develop online gaming regulations in 2004. This put it streets ahead of other countries in Europe and attracted many major gaming firms to the country. As a result, Malta has a deep and broad ecosystem which makes starting up here very attractive.
By choosing to launch your business in Malta, you will be surrounding yourself with industry peers – this is invaluable for networking and sparking ideas. You will also have access to a pool of potential employees with unique experience in this industry. What is more, there are also many companies providing niche services that support the iGaming sector in Malta - from marketing firms to accountants, lawyers to IT service companies.
An attractive tax regime
Malta has a very attractive tax regime which allows gaming companies to retain a high portion of their profits. Malta's corporate tax rate is set at 35%, but businesses are allowed to claim back most of this as a rebate, meaning that companies effectively pay just 5% tax on their profits.
If you compare this to most other countries in Europe, or indeed the rest of the world, your start-up will retain far more money, which will allow you to invest in the business and grow faster. And on top of this, the personal tax regime is also very attractive, with top earners paying a maximum of 35%, while professionals with certain skills pay as little as 15%.
Easy setup and licencing process
Malta’s iGaming licencing process couldn't be easier. To receive your paperwork, you need to provide the Malta Gaming Authority with a business plan, evidence of start-up capital (the amount varies depending on business type) and undergo a system test of your technology. There are also a number of fees for compliance, admin and annual licences.
This straightforward process normally takes just a few weeks and you will then be issued with a gaming licence that is valid for five years.
Location, location, location
Malta is situated in the Mediterranean and is a member of the European Union. Within easy reach of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, the sun kissed archipelago allows for short travel times to many major markets.
Malta boasts a very high standard of living with 300 days of sunshine every year and English as an official language. The family-friendly, cosmopolitan islands have a rich and fascinating history, great cuisine, beautiful nature and azure seas – all of which makes it an appealing place for expats to set up home.
No online gaming firm wants to deal with a hostile authority and intrusive audits. The Malta Gaming Authority is a highly respected and impartial organisation that maintains high standards while being supportive of foreign start-ups who choose to locate their businesses in the country.
Bank accounts for start-ups in Malta
If you are looking to start up an iGaming firm, Malta is without a doubt one of the most attractive destinations to relocate.
But what about the finance side of running a new business in Malta? To make sure that your firm can receive payments, pay staff and cover other costs you will need a bank account that is registered in the country.
iGaming firms have very specialised needs, and so it is worthwhile choosing a business bank account that suits the kind of work you do. Xace accounts are specialised for the needs of digital companies in sectors such as iGaming. A Xace gaming payment account (provided through our partnership with Modular) brings together several valuable features that will be especially useful for your start-up:
- European IBAN and SEPA to make and receive payments internationally
- Multiple currency payments
- Virtual debit card
- Available for Maltese businesses
- Gaming-site friendly
- Mobile ready
Looking to start up a gaming firm in Malta? Talk to us about your payment needs.