In 2019, the gaming sector of Malta was the fourth-largest contributor to the local economy. However, things are not going to be the same in 2020. The COVID19 pandemic has hit the gaming sector badly and things are going to change.

On Tuesday, the Malta Gaming Authority released the 2019 Annual Report and Financial Statements. As per the report, the contribution of the gaming sector to the local economy is 20.9%. The gross value of the contribution is €1.56bn. The contribution percentage has improved by 7.6% from 2018.

The full-time employment of the gaming sector was by 9.1% to 7417. However, the land-based gaming jobs fall by 20 to 824.

The total employment related to the gaming sector is 11,741 which is equal to 11.4% of the overall economy. The online sector however was comprised of 64% Non-Maltese in 2019, down by 3.3% on a year-on-year basis.

At the end of 2019, there were 294 companies holding a total of 298 MGA license. This has increased from 2018. In 2018, there were 283 companies, and these held 286 licenses. MGA revealed that there were 89 license applications filed in 2019.

However, 44 of them were either rejected or withdrawn.

As per the reports, MGA has canceled 14 licenses in 2019 and suspended 11 others. There were 20 warnings issued and 89 notices were sent for breaches. The MGA imposed 23 administrative fines.

As per the reports, 1300 criminal probity screenings were conducted in 2019. The Fit and Proper Committee of MGA has termed 15 individuals and companies unfit as per the standards. The shortcomings were majorly in the area related to Anti-Money Laundering and Terror Financing, MGA said.

In the detailed report, it has been revealed that Type 1 gaming such as slots, table games, and other casino games have accounted for 56% of total B2C net revenue in 2019. In 2018, the contribution was 55.4%. Among 56%, almost three-quarters come from the slots.

Type 2 gaming such as Sports Betting accounted for 36.3%, down by 2.7% from 2018. The Type 3 gaming like Poker, Exchange Betting, Bingo, and Lottery Betting rose by 2.2% to 7.7%.

The report also said that the licensed operators of MGA have reported the rise of active players by 12.6% on a year-on-year basis. The total active players have reached 20.4mn. The new active account increased by 11.7% to 13.8mn.

The MGA released a survey in May for 2020 and explained the impact of the COVID19 pandemic impact. As per the survey, almost all the B2C operators would see at least a 12% decline in revenue. The B2B firms expect a 20% decline in revenue on average. The operators are expected to reduce the unnecessary expenditure for long-term benefits.

The MGA has however not revealed the progress of Virtual Financial Assets (VFA).


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