In recent years, Malta has affirmed its position as a strong and consolidated economy. One of the industries that is thriving in Malta is the gaming industry.
Albeit its small size, with a total population of around 420,000 people, the island is recognized as the go-to location for stakeholders operating within the gaming ecosystem, all thanks to the pro-business attitude which thrives in this country. So it’s not just the 300+ days of sunshine, coasts at every turn or the balance between having a successful career and active social life people choose to have, that attracts companies to Malta. Indeed, Malta has a lot to offer to the business community and a number of incentives are in place to facilitate business operations. In this respect, Malta has gained a significantly prominent status in the international gaming sphere and is renowned to be one of the points of reference for other gaming jurisdictions.
The Specialized Ecosystem which has flourished in the past 10 years. Albeit having a total area of 316km2, the island is saturated with companies who accommodate the needs of operators in setting up shop in Malta. From specialized corporate service providers, technical specialists, data centers and other specific services, operators have easy access to service providers that can assist companies who are moving part or full operations to Malta. From an operator’s perspective Malta can be seen as a one stop shop, with a strong regulatory and infrastructural backbone that positions Malta as an island of excellence.
An attractive Regulatory Framework and fiscal incentives. Having been the first to regulate remote gaming activities back in 2004, Malta has affirmed itself as a leader in gaming regulations and has often been regarded as a point-of-reference for other legislations in other jurisdictions. Additionally it strives to disassociate the stigma that lies within the gaming industry and promotes it as a form of entertainment rather than gambling. The approach that is adopted by the Malta Gaming Authority focuses on responsible consumption and it places responsible gaming as one of its major pillars in regulating the industry.
Apart from the pro-gaming regulations, Malta also offers other fiscal incentives to attract operators such as reduced income tax rates on personal earnings, decreased corporate tax, vat exemptions and double taxation relief system. Where specific criteria are met, the effective rate of tax for companies can be as low as 5%, coupled with double taxation relief across over 70 jurisdictions.
Local Foundations have also been set up by the MGA to reinforce their commitment to avoid gaming addictions. The Responsible Gaming Foundation, established in 2014, was set up to provide awareness on excessive gambling and assist both operators and players in providing the necessary help needed. The foundation acts as a consultant to operators by identifying processes to put in place to prevent and provide assistance to players.
In harnessing and strengthening the success of the local industry, the MGA is currently planning on establishing a foundation to target skill gaps currently present within the gaming industry and addressing such shortcomings together with other local entities.
A Multicultural environment. Dubbed as the next digital base by many expats, Malta boasts a multicultural workforce with many people relocating to the lovely island not only for its natural wonders but also for the diversity, connectivity and upbeat social life that it offers. GamingMalta has reported that 64% of the workforce in the gaming industry is made up of non-Maltese workforce, offering expats a multicultural work environment which facilitates growth and a native approach away from home.
Malta continues to be a leader in the gaming industry, on the forefront of innovation by providing the ideal climate for operators to establish their business on the island. Given the local culture, the industry also allows for a relatively smooth transition for expats relocating to Malta as it fosters a unique multicultural environment.
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