iGaming in Malta: 8 Reasons Why iGaming in Malta is so Attractive

Updated: July 30, 2020 | 9 minute read

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Introduction - Why iGaming in Malta is so Attractive

The Maltese archipelago has successfully established itself as the hub of the iGaming sector thanks to the innovative and robust gaming framework which were put in place in 2004.

A leader and a world-renowned regulator, the Malta Gaming Authority (the 'MGA') is considered as a flagship authority within the gaming industry.

The Remote Gaming Regulations (Malta) which were published in April 2004, placed Malta as the first member state of the European Union to regulate remote gaming. The Remote Gaming Regulations have, since then, been repealed by the Gaming Act (the “Act”), which came into force in August of 2018.

Considering its fast-paced growth, the booming iGaming industry in Malta now has years of momentum behind and even ahead of it.

As more and more compelling possibilities unwrap themselves when it comes to igaming companies, there's never been a better time to get in on all the perks.

In this article, we will be explaining to you the 8 reasons why iGaming in Malta is so Attractive.


What is iGaming?

The iGaming or online gaming is the betting of money or some other value on the outcome of an event or a game, whether generated randomly or not, using the internet.

The iGaming activities may include:

  • Peer-to-peer games such as Poker or Bingo;

  • Online casinos including slots;

  • Lotteries;

  • Fixed-odds betting, including sports events; and

  • Fantasy sports.

The substantial share of the market is made up of casino games and sports betting.

Companies wishing to operate an online gaming company in or from Malta must possess a valid licence issued by the Malta Gaming Authority, being either a Gaming Service Licence applicable to B2C operators or a Critical Gaming Supply Licence applicable B2B operators.

Before we list the top 8 reasons why iGaming in Malta is so attractive, we thought of also giving you a brief introduction to another important topic.

What is a Remote Gaming Licence?

A Maltese Gaming Licence allows companies wishing to carry on or otherwise provide gaming services in or from within Malta, including but not limited to, games of chance, such as slots or casinos, fixed odds betting such as racebooks or sports pools, peer-to-peer games such as poker or bingo or controlled skill games.

Any gaming company wishing to target Maltese players or otherwise carry on gaming services in or from within Malta would need to apply for a gaming licence with the MGA.

The licence covers the types of games to be offered, along with the services to be provided, either Business-to-Business (B2B) services or Business-to-Consumer (B2C) services.

Related: How do you get a Remote Gaming licence in Malta 

8 Reasons as to Why iGaming in Malta is so Attractive

#1 Gaming Tax Rates in Malta

Malta was one of the first jurisdictions to enact the necessary regulations through which the iGaming framework was established.

When it comes to Maltese jurisdiction, any remote gaming/betting company based in Malta has a number of Tax obligations to fulfil.

With the sole aim to grow and secure the online gambling companies in Malta; Since 2004, respective authorities have committed themselves to produce new laws and opportunities to grow their business efficiently with security.

Gaming companies are subject to corporate tax, either if they are companies incorporated and/or having management and control in Malta or companies deriving or raising income in Malta. Moreover, certain gaming companies are also subject to further gaming tax obligations.

Remote Gaming Tax

In accordance with the relevant applicable remote gaming activities by the Malta Gaming Authority is, amongst others, subject to the following two types of taxes:

  •  Corporate Tax -  A 35% corporate tax rate shall apply to the profits generated by remote gaming operators. Companies will be able to benefit from certain tax incentives, subject to applicable conditions.

To know more about the corporate tax and income tax returns read ‘A Guide To Malta Corporate Tax'

  • Gaming Tax - A 5% gaming tax shall apply to the gaming revenue generated by remote gaming operators from Malta-based players.
 

#2 Gaming Licence Cost in Malta

iGaming Licence Fees applicable to licensees in Malta are comparatively less expensive than other gaming jurisdictions.

All B2C Gaming Services licensee's are subject to an annual fixed licence fee of €25,000, with the exception of suppliers of Type 4 games, who are instead subject to an annual fixed licence fee of €10,000.

On the other hand, the licence fee for B2B Critical Gaming Supply licensees shall vary between €25,000 to €35,000, depending on their annual revenue. Moreover, a reduced  Licence Fee of  €10,000 shall apply if the licensee supplies critical supplies solely to Type 4 game providers. Lower annual Licence Fees apply to B2B licensees providing Critical Gaming Supplies consisting only of back-office related services, such as provision and maintenance of software.

Depending on the revenue generated, the Gaming Licence Fees Regulations impose a Compliance Contribution solely on B2C gaming service providers in terms of a sliding scale.

Below is the minimum/maximum Compliance Contribution payable in any one period.

B2C Licence Type

Minimum Compliance Contribution

Maximum Compliance Contribution

Type 1 Gaming Services

€15,000

€375,000

Type 2  Gaming Services

€25,000

€600,000

Type 3  Gaming Services

€25,000

€500,000

Type 4  Gaming Services

€5,000

€500,000

 

It is important to note that B2C gaming services providers who qualify and are duly approved by the MGA as a start-up undertaking are entitled to a one-year exemption on Compliance Contributions.  B2B Critical Gaming Supply licensees are not subject to Compliance Contributions.

#3 iGaming in Malta - A Booming Sector

Bolstering a strong worldwide reputation, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) regulates one of Malta’s major economic contributors; the local remote and land-based gaming industry.

There are approximately 513 remote gaming licensees in Malta, including online casino license and 266 companies, including iGaming/betting companies (Malta), Malta video games companies etc.

Whilst also regulating all types of gaming and gambling businesses/activities including national lotteries, bingo halls, casinos, gaming parlours and remote gaming.

Whilst being the pioneer in the iGaming sector thanks to its excellent foresight and track record, the MGA always strives to achieve its main aim; that of encouraging innovation in this technological sector while protecting players.

Undisputedly, Malta has long been a Mecca for gaming companies and suppliers. The island is the place of origin of regulated online gaming. Nowhere has iGaming taken off as briskly and been as rapidly embraced as it has in Malta.

No country has welcomed gaming companies as warmly as Malta. Because of all these reasons, Malta has become a destination of choice for the world’s largest operators and fast-growing startups.

The first online gaming businesses were set up in Malta in the late 1990s, well before the iGaming boom. Malta can, therefore, boast almost two decades of growth in the iGaming Sector.

The island has, since then, gained a solid understanding of the environment iGaming companies need to flourish and be successful.

#4 Skilled Working Class

Malta offers a comprehensive gaming ecosystem. Maltese islands have the resources, people and culture to give iGaming professionals and entrepreneurs the possibility and chance to connect with like-minded individuals where business gets done.

Malta’s iGaming workforce is incredibly international and diverse. The island has drawn people from all corners of the world. Today, the majority of those employed in the sector are expats.

As Malta was once a British colony, the majority of the Maltese population is English speaking.

English is an official language along with Maltese, making it simpler for expats to adjust and integrate.

The European Gaming Institute of Malta (EGIM), has been launched as a joint venture between the Malta Gaming Authority and the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST). EGIM seeks to provide training and development opportunities for non-experienced personnel wanting to join the gaming industry.

Additionally, the economic and political stability and a low crime rate also help companies to have higher levels of trust in the country.

#5 iGaming Events in Malta

Each year there are many events organised for the iGaming industry in Malta, such as SiGMA which is the quintessential iGaming destination.

Whether you are a startup or a big international company, you will find yourself at one of such iGaming events.

#6 Location of the Maltese Islands

Located in the centre of the Mediterranean, with closest lands being Sicily, North Africa, and Gibraltar, the Maltese archipelago makes just the perfect location when it comes to setting up your iGaming company.

Being a Commonwealth member state, a member of the EU since 2004 and part of the Schengen area since 2007 facilitates trade and freedom of movement within the European Union.

Malta also enjoys a stable political climate with accredited economic growth higher than most EU countries thus guaranteed to be a safe hub from which to operate one’s business.

Malta’s climate is strongly influenced by the sea and is typical of the Mediterranean, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers.

Malta enjoys 300 days of sunshine per year, with a daily average of 6 hours’ sunshine in mid-winter, to more than 12 hours in summer. So, Malta can be the perfect destination for people who want to enjoy their vacation with gaming.

#7 Real Estate in Malta

The Maltese market has earned itself an envied reputation for being stable with an excellent return on investment benefits, especially when the European property market has witnessed a downturn.

It’s a reasonable yet competitive alternative to London and a much closer and affordable choice for European citizen than Las Vegas!

#8 Strength of Malta

Malta gaming regulations set by MGA who adopts a hands-on approach together with Malta’s economic and political stability, make it a destination of choice for the iGaming industry.

  • Experienced & Reputable Regulator;

  • Attractive Tax regime for both companies and individuals;

  • Well-regulated remote gaming jurisdiction which safeguards the interests of both operators and players;

  • An extensive network of Double Tax Treaties;

  • Established and well-regulated financial services institutions;

  • Excellent telecommunication infrastructure;

  • Top business support services specialised in the gaming industry;

  • Political and economic stability; and

  • A Safe, secure and pleasant lifestyle.

Final Words

So to sum it up, it can be said that in the recent year's Malta has become an attractive choice for iGaming companies to base their operations in Malta and ripe all the benefits that this island country has to offer to the fullest.

Malta surpasses every other jurisdiction when it comes to its tax-efficient system, skilled igaming working class, affordable yet the high standard of living along with work-life balance.

All of the reasons listed above along with many others make iGaming in Malta so attractive.

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