Not too long ago, if you mentioned the word Malta to someone, they would instantly think about sunny weather, lovely beaches, and Malta’s beautiful architecture. Nowadays, these are still there, but Malta is mainly appreciated for something else now – its exceptional startup scene.
Tech startups from all around the world are flocking to Malta due to its favorable laws and regulations. This has been especially noticeable ever since the rise of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. With so much opportunity for networking due to Malta’s massive amount of tech conferences and meetings between entrepreneurs from all around the world, it has become an extremely hot spot with a thriving tech scene.
However, where Malta has always excelled at was the iGaming field. Malta’s determination to develop its iGaming industry with its exceptional approach has made Malta a very attractive and stable country for hundreds of online casinos like Betfair, Tipico, Betsson, etc.
What are the main advantages that put Malta ahead?
There’s no one specific thing that makes Malta such an attractive destination for iGaming companies. It’s more of a combination of multiple different things that, put together, create an amazing ecosystem for any iGaming company to prosper and advance.
Favorable Regulations and Policies
Being the very first EU country to regulate remote gaming, Malta has always been considered to have been a heaven regulation-wise for iGaming companies, and rightly so.
They have always provided a regulatory environment that always aims to encourage and promote growth, rather than restrict and slow it down. This is mainly done based on low levels of bureaucracy and simplified key operational processes for companies that are not available in any other country.
Its licensing procedures and policies are very simplified and favorable for foreign companies as well, attracting a lot of investors. Accepted companies aren’t only limited to established casinos like Betsson and Betfair, but newer casinos as well. Betzest is a new casino that just got a license in Malta (read more here), and offers welcome bonuses of 100% on up to 2000NOK, meaning your first deposit will be doubled-up. Malta opening doors for new players like this encourages competition and supplies new and exciting opportunities for consumers. Very often, it’s newer casinos like these that provide the best promotions and bonuses. Malta recognizes this and constantly strives to ensure that the conditions are not only kept attractive but are further improved. The regulatory changes that prompted all this growth in the sector are often referred to as revolutionary, but how Malta manages to keep on improving is revolutionary in its own right.
One of the main advantages of Malta is its very favorable tax conditions. More specifically, reduced rates on income tax and personal income, and reduced payments on income from patents.
Non-residents of Malta that are willing to relocate can also gain access to some very beneficial tax advantages like the High Net Worth Individuals Scheme, the Global Residence Programme, etc.
A large international talent pool
Malta has always been a very cosmopolitan country. Before its startup and iGaming boom, Malta was-and still is-one of the most famous holiday destinations and had one of the strongest tourism systems in the world. It, therefore, has a very solid expat community, composed of motivated, mostly well-educated young people.
iGaming aside, with malta being one of the world’s strongest tech hubs, there’s always a large number of highly professional software developers, so it’s no wonder a lot of worldwide fan-favorite online casino games were developed in Malta.
Besides the foreign talent pool, iGaming companies in Malta are constantly looking for new and better ways to increase and develop their employees’ expertise, meaning there’s never a lack of talent.
Two Gaming licenses
The licensing process in Malta has been made even simpler after it was decided that the current multi-license system will be soon replaced with just two licenses – a business-to-consumer and business-to-business licenses. That, in turn, will allow the authorities governing gaming in Malta to cut through unnecessary bureaucracy.
Long license period
According to the new regulations, license issued by MGA won’t be limited to only 5 years anymore and will last for up to 10 years instead. However, it will still be possible to issue a license with a limited duration. This might come in handy in a disaster recovery case.
Onshore Financial status of Malta
Currently, Malta adopts a full imputation system of taxation, meaning that taxes charged from the company are after imputed to the shareholder during the dividend distribution. Thus, shareholders don’t need to pay taxes on dividends twice. Moreover, ever since January 2007, shareholders are eligible to apply for a refund of the six-sevenths of the taxes paid.
Together with a high level of regulations stability and safety, an excellent economic track record, political stability, and membership in the EU zone, makes Malta one of the most attractive gaming destinations.
Low fees and gaming taxes
According to a recent official study on gaming services, Malta officially has one of the lowest fees and taxes in Europe. Taxes usually depend directly on the class license, but the maximum they might reach is €466,000 per annum.
Advanced technical infrastructure
Malta has developed a trustworthy system of telecommunications infrastructure that is capable of hosting and delivering round the clock connectivity. Namely, the World Economic Forum has recently ranked the Maltese Government as the second most successful one in promoting the use of ICT technology. Moreover, in November 2009, Malta became the first amongst EU member states as a major advocate for IT and e-government.
Also, Malta reached the maximum possible score (100%) in the ‘One stop Shop’ and ‘User focused portal design’. It also took the second and third places in ‘User Satisfaction Monitoring’ and ‘Usability’ respectively.
Availability of active remote gaming
Malta has a separately created authority – the Malta Remote Gaming Council – that is aimed at creating a common platform from which operators may address several issues with the benefit of collective experience.