With 250 i-Gaming companies already in Malta, more companies and their employees are on the way to set up shop on our fair shores.
Evidence of Malta’s popularity also resulted this past month in ID Malta’s introduction of its brand new digital nomad visa and residency options and Malta is indeed a very hot commodity amongst the world’s digital community. The industry is known for its trend-setting ideas, creative talent and phenomenal growth and this is very unlikely to ever slow down.
Its game on!
It is predicted that i-Gaming will double its global revenue in the next four years to just being short of the $100 Billion mark and the pandemic has done very little to slow down its runaway success.
Who’s fuelling the fire?
China is currently this industry’s biggest consumer market, followed by Japan and South Korea but when it comes to player participation in the EU for 2019 the top three were Sweden, Denmark, and Norway*.
When one talks about the location of the world’s i-Gaming companies, Malta has been the top destination in Europe with this sector accounting for more than 13% of the country’s overall GDP, generating an incredible €700m per annum and earning Malta the reputation of being Europe’s i-Gaming capital.
Benefits of having Malta as a location
Malta was the first EU Member to have a comprehensive framework of regulations in place for remote gaming and is now a watertight jurisdiction, emerging as the market leader in Europe for the hosting of iGaming companies. The ability to offer border-less services to all the other member states is a huge bonus when we look at the potential of the EU’s i-Gaming market. With low taxes and incentives offered by the Maltese government one can see why Malta is i-Gaming company heaven. License fees are also extremely low and the country offers a skilled workforce of talented people with countless annual exhibitions, fairs, conferences and seminars drawing in crowds from across the globe.
i-Gaming and the real estate market
Situated in the middle of the Mediterranean and being in such a dazzling, historic location surrounded by azure waters, Malta is perfectly located between Africa, Europe and the Middle East: an ideal location for multi-continental networking in an extremely safe environment. Malta also offers companies and their employees a low cost of living and high quality of life.
Premises historically favoured by i-Gaming companies were Sliema, St. Julians and Ta’Xbiex, but for now the supply here is limited. Some companies are looking at decentralising to outlying areas, occupying clusters of smaller premises close to one another in the same neighbourhood.
This time around i-Gaming companies are all the wiser and may insist on better rates and flexibility before signing a lease of any kind. Some may even choose to rather buy their own premises due to the proven profitability of the Maltese property market.
The return of the highly skilled, highly paid foreign worker is inevitable as restrictions are relaxed. “During the height of Covid it was a tenant’s market due to supply and the willingness of landlords to negotiate favourable rents” says Philippa Tabone, Manager of Frank Salt Real Estate’s Letting Division.
“Malta is re-opening up to tourism thus the demand for short-term lets are on the increase. Luckily the building industry constantly releases brand new units on the market as i-Gamers are of a very sought-after and educated tenant profile but often insist on only new and fully equipped units with advanced technological infrastructure. This will mean that landlords will have to update older properties to appeal to this group.”
i-Gaming is one of the few industries that saw online revenues increase during the pandemic and are thus encouraged to settle in Malta due to its major contribution to the country’s GDP and stimulus of the commercial and rental property markets.