Malta Cannons
Warwick Bartlett
Warwick Bartlett/ LinkedIn

The value of iGaming companies having residence in Malta is less that it once was, but does still persist, says Warwick Bartlett, the owner and chief executive of respected iGaming consultancy firm Global Betting & Gaming Consultants (GBGC).

Speaking to iGamingCapital.mt as part of a series of articles on the appeal of Malta as a jurisdiction for iGaming companies, Mr Bartlett contends that, as in the case of all offshore jurisdictions, Malta’s value has declined as most EU countries have produced their own licensing and regulatory environments.

“Malta is no longer seen as a jurisdiction that grants EU access for operators to engage with EU gamblers, simply because it is a member of the EU,” he reflects.

Ultimately, this means that if an operator wishes to take bets in Germany or Sweden for example, they have to get a licence in these countries, and if they are regulated in Malta as well this increases their costs, Mr Bartlett explains.

However, he adds that the island does continue to appeal due to its status as an iGaming hub with a host of service providers that feed off the operators.

“You can find skilled employees and managers, so it’s a great place to have your headquarters.”

More broadly, addressing the wider iGaming industry, Mr Bartlett warns that the market is approaching either maturity at best, or ex-growth at worst, with regulation constantly moving against the profitability of industry operators.

Making a medium term prediction, he states that he would expect the number of licences in Malta to fall over the next five years, due to external developments:

“I would expect the number of licenses in Malta to fall over the next five years not necessarily because Malta is less attractive but because of the ongoing regulation in European markets.”

This is likely to hit Malta particularly hard due to the high presence of SMEs in the country, and the fact that the ongoing regulation across European markets has made it particularly difficult for small operators to function, he concludes.

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