Malta is regarded as one of the world’s leading centres for online gambling, with hundreds of firms choosing to operate out of the Mediterranean archipelago. If you are considering choosing Malta as the base for your online gambling firm, you’ll want to do you due diligence, and make sure it’s the right location for you.
To help you do this, Xace has compiled a selection of online gambling statistics for Malta which paint a picture of the market on the island. For 2020, why not review our Malta Online Gaming Statistics 2020 article.
Malta online gaming stats
The chairman of the Malta Gaming Authority(MGA) Joseph Cuschieri recently explained that the country is becoming “the jurisdiction of primary establishment for most operators within the [remote gaming] industry.”
Malta’s extraordinary success in online gambling is largely thanks to its 2004 online gaming regulations. This law gave sportsbetting and casino websites a clear framework to operate in, which meant they could expand with confidence.
As the following online gambling statistics reveal, that early move has paid dividends.
Overview of gaming in Malta
Online gaming involves placing a bet on the outcome of a game (sports or a game of chance) via the internet, using a gaming payment processor or even cryptocurrency. Permitted online gaming activities in Malta include online casinos, online sports betting, and online poker.
The size of Malta’s online gaming market
For a nation with a population of half a million, Malta’s position as a leader in online gambling is impressive. Industry forecasts predict a global online gambling market value of 94.4 billion US dollars by 2024 and Malta is a key player. 10% of the world’s online gaming companies are registered in Malta, and so a significant portion of global revenue is handled by businesses there.
According to the MGA’s December 2019interim report, online gaming contributed an impressive 13.6% of the value of the Maltese economy –representing turnover of around $2 billion. Even during the pandemic, this only dropped to around12% of GDP.
Online gaming is a hugely important part of the country’s economy – and one way this shows up is in its share of internet usage. Around 50% of the country’s international bandwidth is dedicated to online gambling activities!
What kind of online gaming companies operate in Malta?
As of June 2020, 303 companies held online gaming licences on the territory. Of these, there are four license types:
Class 1: Casino Style Games, Lotteries and Slots – 49%
Class 2: Sports betting – 37%
Class 3: P2P, Betting Exchanges, Skins, Tournaments and Bingo – 11%
Class 4: Software vendors taking commission on wagers – 3%
The island is home to several major names in online gaming, including Betsson, Tipico and Betfair. Other significant employers include:
- LeoVegas, one of the leading mobile gaming companies. The company was established in Sweden in 2011 by Gustaf Hagman and Robin Ramm-Ericson. It employs a team of around 300 in Malta and Sweden (its largest office is in Malta).
- In 2019 Bet365 announced it was relocating to Malta from Gibraltar (citing Brexit uncertainty), bringing over 500 employees with them.
- In 2018 William Hill opened satellite in the country to allow the company to continue operating in the EU after Brexit.
Malta online gambling – employment statistics
Malta’s online gaming industry attracts highly skilled professionals from across the world. Despite the pandemic, employment in the sector actually increased last year – from 6,593 in December 2019 to 7,196 in June 2020 (out of a working age population of around250,000). What is more, 3,000 – 4,000 people work in a variety of ancillary services including web hosting, legal work and marketing.
When it comes to salaries, Malta is an attractive place for online gaming professionals. Surveys indicate that Malta online gaming salaries range between €22,000 and €60,000 on average. While this might be less than the pay for online gaming jobs in other EU countries, Malta has a significantly lower cost of living too. And those pay packets are getting bigger - according to a survey by recruiting firm Boston Link, there was an11% year-on-year increase in salaries in 2019.
The government is also working hard to attract people to work in the online gaming sector. Skilled recruits in the online gaming sector are now being offered a15% tax cap on salary by the Maltese government.
How popular is online gaming in Malta?
Online gaming firms mainly choose Malta as a base to reach the wider European market. Nonetheless, the local population(of about half a million) are also online gaming fans:
- A report from the MGA reveal that 56% of the population regularly participate in gambling activities
- About 4,200 Maltese people play online games each week
- The average gamer spends 49 minutes each week on an online gaming website
- Remote gaming is most popular among people in the 18-24 age group, followed by the 43 – 59 age group
Player profiles for Malta gambling
- Most players are aged 25 – 35 (39.5%),followed by people in the 35-54 age range (31.4%)
- Debit card is the most popular payment method (40%), followed by bank transfer (31%) and e-wallets (17%)
Malta gambling license application information
If you are considering applying for a gaming license in Malta, the following statistics give an insight into the costs, time and processes involved:
- Application fees vary depending on the license type and size of business, but usually start at €25,000, rising to around €500,000 for large, complex companies
- Annual license renewals cost €25,000
- There is no gaming tax (unless the customer comes from Malta – you will need to pay a 5% tax on earnings from Maltese customers)
- It normally takes 12-16 weeks to get your license approved
- Corporate tax rates are an effective 5%
Malta online gaming statistics
As these figures show, the online gambling industry in Malta is thriving and has an exciting future ahead, with revenue and employment increasing in 2020 despite the global recession.
A key requirement for running a gambling company in Malta is to have a business bank account for processing customer payments. And while many of the country’s traditional banks have restrictions around online gaming, Xace makes it easy for gaming businesses and gamers in Malta to open an account and manage money generated through online gaming.
Find out more about our Malta gaming accounts.