In 2004, Malta was the first EU Member State to legislate remote (online) gaming. This proactive approach has been supported by favorable tax incentives — particularly the tax refund system — which have led to innovation and substantial investment in this sector. The island’s dynamic business environment is also complemented by Malta’s cosmopolitan Mediterranean lifestyle. Now established as the industry leader in gaming, Malta is passing through an economic boom.
Here we will be discussing the operational side of the iGaming business in Malta, the gaming laws in Malta, and other factors which makes the island such an attractive place to start a business in the iGaming sector.
What is the iGaming Industry?
In simple terms, iGaming is betting on the outcome of a game or event online. Wagering on sports and online casino betting are the most prominent segments in this industry. Other popular game activities include:
- Fantasy Sports
- Peer to Peer games
- Virtual sports games.
According to “Finance Monthly”, the global gaming business has been booming in recent years. Revenue forecasts project $94.4 billion by 2024, with the potential for global turnover to exceed the $1 trillion mark by 2026.
For Malta, this currently translates into a contribution from the gaming industry of 12% of the nation’s GDP. For the nearly nine thousand individuals employed, gaming salaries range between €22 thousand to €60 thousand annually. Entry-level positions in customer support often provide professional growth to VIP Management to employees who are ambitious within the companies.
In this dynamic environment, Fin-Tech, Blockchain, and related industries can now benefit from the favorable taxes and regulations provided to start-ups, as well as a young highly skilled workforce.
With over 300 companies registered, the following is a list of some iGaming companies in Malta taken from the Malta Chamber of Commerce:
- Betsson Malta
- BML Group Limited
- Cashpoint Malta LTD
- Kindred Group
- CO-Gaming LTD
See SOHO’s members in the iGaming sector.
Starting Your own iGaming Company in Malta
If you’ve ever wondered, how do I start my own online casino? Or how do I start a gambling company in Malta? There are certain procedures to pass through if you wish to start your own business.
The steps for a successful start-up gaming company include:
- Application for an iGaming license to be issued by The Malta Gaming Authority
This one-step process needs to be supported by:
- Business plan.
- Share Capital requirements subject to the class of gaming license applied for. Currently, Classes 1 & 2 require a €100,000 minimum while classes 3 & 4 require a minimum of €40,000.
- Before your licence is activated, a systems test will be required.
Upon successful issuance of a gaming licence — valid for 5 years — by The Malta Gaming Authority, the business will undergo audits by an appointed independent gaming professionals from time to time.
The only autonomous body that controls online and international public relations of this industry in the country, is the Malta Gaming Authority.
How much does a Gambling License Cost?
For a B2C — Business To Consumer Service Class 1,2 & 3 licenses — the following fees apply:-
- €25,000 Non- Refundable Annual Fee paid in advance upon the issue of license.
- €5,000 Administrative / Renewal Fee.
- Compliance Contribution Fees. For a Class 1 license, a minimum compliance contribution of €15,000 which is capped at €375,000, with a percentage range from 0.4% to 1.25%.
- For a Class 2 license, a minimum compliance contribution of €25,000 which is capped at €600,000, with a percentage range from 0.4% to 4%.
- For a Class 3 license a minimum compliance contribution of €25,000 which is capped at €500,000, with a percentage range from 0.4% to 4%.
B2C Licencees start-ups are exempt from paying their compliance contributions for one year.
For a B2B — Business to Business Class 4 licence, an annual fee of €25,000 to €35,000, is paid dependent on gaming revenue. B2B Licensees are not required to pay compliance contributions.
Why Start an iGaming Business in Malta?
Online gambling has become one of the most popular entertainment activities on the internet. Available through a simple internet connection, online gambling is easily accessible to its players. Among many other reasons, there are a few significant benefits to consider if you decide to set up an iGaming company in Malta.
- A Strong Economy
- Attractive Tax Regulations
- Modern Technology & Infrastructure
- Mild Mediterranean Climate
- A Relaxed Lifestyle
Valid points that set the island apart from other countries, making Malta the preferred destination for businesses and expats to relocate.
The launch of Gaming Malta and The iGaming Academy, consistent investment in modern technology, and other favorable services supported by a young, highly skilled workforce demonstrate Malta’s long term commitment to this thriving industry.
Office Space Solution for your Company
Whether you’re setting up a new company, relocating your office from abroad, or expanding your workspace in Malta, SOHO Office Space can find an ideal solution for your business. Contact us to discuss how our services can benefit your start-up business.
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