Scientific report will assist in shaping future policies
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has published its first Consumption of Gaming Services survey on Maltese residents, saying the report will help shape future policies which in the past have relied on supposition.
The survey, carried out in 2015 and 2016, is intended to provide a fair assessment on the gaming behaviors in Malta, including a clearer picture on the level of problem gambling on the Mediterranean Island.
Whilst recognizing the positive effects of the iGaming industry on the Maltese economy, Hon Silvio Schembri, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, stressed the importance of the government’s role in devising policies to safeguard iGaming while ensuring Maltese society wasn’t negatively impacted.
Key highlights from the survey include:
Maltese gamblers are estimated to have spent around 2.8 percent of total household consumption expenditure, or Euro 125 million, on gaming services during 2015 predominantly on National Lottery games, followed by gaming parlours and outlets.
Around 195,300 persons, or 56 percent of the population aged 18 years and older, spent a weekly average of Euro 12.30 on some form of gaming activity in 2015.
People who engage in paid gaming activities are most likely aged 45 and over, have an educational attainment up to Secondary level and were not active in the labour market.
Around 46 percent of the population engages in free-to-play games.
In general, around 1 percent to 2 percent of the population (between 2,000 and 4,000 people) report some form of adverse effect of gaming activity on lifestyle.
The findings surmise that problem gambling is relatively contained when gaming is conducted through licensed providers, that it was more likely than not, that problems associated with gambling would emanate primarily from illegal activities.
“For the first time we are publishing a scientific survey which clearly articulates the gambling behaviours of the Maltese population,” Joseph Cuschieri, executive chairman of the MGA, said.
“This should help all stakeholders to shape policies based on scientific data rather than impressions or myths hence a more informed debate about the economic and social effects of gambling in Malta. The survey also gives size and scale of potential gambling addiction problems in Malta.”