Malta was the first European Union state to regulate online gambling
Located just 80 km south of Italy, Malta officially called the Republic of Malta, is an archipelago in Southern Europe, in the Mediterranean Sea. Valletta, the capital of Malta is the smallest national capital in the European Union.
Most people know this country as a popular tourist destination (especially in recent years), but few know an interesting thing about this country: the connection with the gambling industry.
The island has a population of just 436,000 people, of whom 9,800 are employed in the gambling industry, which accounts for 11% of Malta’s economy.
It had become the focal point of online gaming in Europe
Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is authorizing hundreds of gaming companies and service providers, including some of the moguls in the gaming industry. Malta Lotteries and the Gaming Authority issue licenses to those involved in the online gambling business, offering games via remote communication, such as casino, poker, sports betting, P2P, lotteries or consoles.
Gaming operators benefit from a stable legal regime thanks to a robust Gaming Regulation. Malta provides an attractive tax regime with advantageous corporate and gaming taxes, as well as an extensive double taxing network and other tax cuts that offer relief from double taxation. Specifically, the company pays 35% of the tax but if the owners are not residents they have the right to claim a 6/7 reimbursement of this amount, amounting to 30%.
The 2008 economic crisis did not have a direct impact on Malta's gambling market. Malta's online gambling gains reached 19 million euros in 2009, nearly 20 percent more than the 15.9 million euros earned the year before. An important role in the gaming industry's vertiginous growth is also played by its stable political and economic climate.
Malta's gambling industry is growing each year
As a proof of that, statistics say that in 2017 from January to June, Malta-based gambling contributed 556-million-euro gross value to the local economy, 10.4% more than in the same period 2016. At the same time, the government has earned €29 million in taxes on the gaming industry, 3.4% more than in the previous year.
Fixed (local) gambling operators (casinos, bingo, gambling) also reported a significant increase in the number of visitors. But, although the overall revenue of fixed operations increased by 10.4% year-on-year, the revenue per gambling went down, all with the exception of casinos.
Another interesting thing about Malta is that currently, there are only 4 land-based casinos offering on-site catering and entertainment for tourists visiting the Maltese islands. Slot locations are forbidden in Malta, so slot machines can be played only on land casinos.