Malta is a European island in the Mediterranean Sea, its warm climate, scenic views and increasing cultural landmarks make it a popular tourist destination. The island’s main languages are Maltese, English and Italian and has been a member of the European Union since 2004.
The island is located near to Italy and is actually only 121 square miles. Despite its small size, it has a thriving economy and a centre for financial services. Although the population of Malta sits at just under 500,000, the country is visited by over 1.6 million visitors each year.
Most of these are tourists, but others include business travellers, and those seeking private healthcare on the island. Tourists come for the beautiful beaches, luxury accommodation and great range of entertainment.
Beyond tourism Malta is well known for being the central hub for much of the world’s gambling industry. There are now around 300 licenced gambling companies on the island. The government has also granted at least another 200 licences to gambling operators that are based mainly in overseas locations.
The industry contributes over $1.5 billion to the nation’s economy, a figure which is growing year on year. It provides jobs for local people and those on international visas, attracts great attention and investment from around the world.
Due to the high presence of gambling companies, many citizens of Malta enjoy gambling and play in casinos or visit online casinos regularly. Many tourists also enjoy the island’s gambling venues, with popular ones being Portomaso Casino, Oracle Casino and the Dragonara Casino based in the famous Dragonara Palace.
Many of the organisations based in Malta are online gambling companies. There are a great number of gambling sites like these now on the market, many of which based their headquarters and the bulk of their staff in the country.
There are a number of reasons for this, one being the regulatory framework that is overseen by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA). This framework is said to be well balanced and protects and suits the needs of both gambling operators and their customers.
Applying for a licence in Malta is much quicker and more straightforward in comparison to other countries, particularly in European locations where regulations are often very strict.
However, this doesn’t mean that they do not vet companies properly. In order to be allowed to operate a gambling company in Malta, businesses must prove that their conduct is fit and proper, legal considerations have been made and technologically, they have implemented and testes correctly.
The country’s financial and tax rules also make it the ideal location to base this type of business. With the European Union, gambling is taxed at a very high rate and is a significant cost to businesses in the industry, however in Malta tax rates are continuously low and regulations do not change often.
The location of the island and its links to the EU also make it an ideal place for employees to relocate to. There is a high standard of living and with good healthcare and educational opportunities, which makes it a suitable place for them to raise a family.
Many immigrants that relocate to Malta are from Britain, with many others coming from Germany, Italy and Greece. Around 5% of residents are from outside of Malta.
In recent years, the Maltese government has recognised the importance of a trained local workforce to meet the demands of this industry. More focus has been put on providing citizens with education and training opportunities that will enable them to join these organisations in roles such as developers, marketers, accountants and legal experts.
While there are now many to choose from, here are some of the biggest online gambling sites and operators based on the island include:
The Kindred Group was founded in 1997 in London and is headquartered in Malta and actually consists of 11 different brands, including Unibet. Maria Casino and 32Red. In the year 2000, Pontus Lesse was appointed CEO and the organisation’s gambling licence was granted.
The group employs over 1,400 around the world, some of which are based on the island.
Multilotto is another licenced gambling company in Malta. Its main office is located in the St Julians area of the island.
The Multilotto site is powered by Lotto Warehouse. Lotto Warehouse were actually the first to receive Malta’s gaming authority’s B2B betting licence for lotteries.
Betsson operates a number of websites from its subsidiaries that are based on the island of Malta. Part of its brand is the UK online bookmaker BetSafe. BetSafe has operated a mobile gambling app that now includes poker and virtual sports.
Malta is Europe’s centre for gambling. Not only is this industry providing a huge economic boost to the island, it has a location that allows compliant online gambling sites to thrive and provide services to players around the world.
This post was written and contributed by Rebecca Haigh and published in accordance with our disclosure policy