David Williams | 06 Jul 2018
The island of Malta has developed its economy around the gambling sector, and to such an extent that it now accounts for roughly 11% of the island’s economy. When considering that it has a population of only 436,000 people and that, according to a census tally in 2017, 9,800 of the population are employed by the local gambling industry, one starts to realise just how central the industry is to the local economy.
Malta’s gambling industry contributed about €1.1 billion to the Maltese economy during 2017. The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) confirmed the income statistics in its annual report earlier during the week, and it’s quite apparent that the socio-economic situation on the island would have looked a great deal different had it not been for the prevalence of the industry in the region.
During the same year, Malta collected to the tune of $77.1 million in gaming licence fees, gaming taxes and other fees and penalty fines. The MGA annual report referred to the robust growth of the gaming industry, and reported that it had indeed been solidly sustained during 2017.
What’s more, the forecast for the future looks bright too, with the industry expected to grow by a further 15% over the next year, as well as delivering a 10% growth boost to the local employment sector.
The report also discusses the likelihood of existing operators expecting to increase their general expenditure in the region. The likelihood has been estimated in the range of 8% to 15% over the next 24 months, thereby further contributing to the expansion of the scope of disposable income for the local economy. General employment is a large contributor to a country’s economic success, and the gambling industry certainly does its part here too.
Another forecast that has been made concerns the likelihood of new investors becoming involved in the local gaming industry. Over and above the forecasts that have been made, the MGA has also expanded on its strategy for growth and plans to implement, among other performance-based strategies, GDPR-based impact assessments, which will better ensure the security of customer data.
A renewed focus on the security is also in the pipeline. The strategy for this includes an entire overhaul of the current IT networks.
Malta’s new Gaming Act will officially come into force on 1 August.