Online Gambling Continues To Drive GDP Growth In Malta

Operators can look forward to a simplified licensing framework as the industry continues to lead growth for the sixth year running

The Malta Chamber of Commerce website carried interesting official facts and figures this week, along with the news that for the sixth year running the online gambling industry on the Mediterranean island continued to lead GDP growth, which reached 5 percent in 2016, and government aiming for 6.5 percent in 2017.

The website article quoted Minister for the Economy Chris Cardona, Malta Business Bureau President David Zahra, and economist Gordon Cordina on developments this year, with the latter observing that the i-gaming industry continued to thrive last year, and has delivered more than 20 percent of the island’s overall economic growth between 2011 and 2016.

He was supported by Zahra, who opined that the online gambling and financial services sectors will remain leading drivers of economic growth in the years ahead.

Minister Cordona said the drive to reduce bureaucracy and make it easier for companies to invest in a move to Malta continues.

The Ministry of Finance and the Malta Gaming Authority have been working together to create a new regulatory framework that includes a simplified licensing regime in which licensing will be streamlined into just two classes – business-to-business and business-to-consumer. There are currently 500 licenses in force under the supervision of the MGA.

The regulatory powers of the MGA are to be extended to include wider monitoring in order to protect the industry from criminal activity.

The minister revealed that the government is planning further promotion of Malta, emphasising its suitability as a technology and tax-friendly destination for the information and communication sectors.