The growth of the global iGaming industry

Malta is at the heart of the iGaming industry, with many iGaming organisations based in the country

The global iGaming industry was valued at $64.13 billion in 2020 and is expected to rise to a predicted $112.09 billion by 2025. The industry has seen enormous growth in recent years, and according to the latest market research, this is only expected to continue. The growth of the iGaming industry is down to a number of reasons, including relaxed regulations that have allowed companies to enter new markets. In addition to this, better technology and greater access to gambling sites have meant more consumers than ever are signing up to bet and play online.

Malta is at the heart of the iGaming industry, with many iGaming organisations based in the country. Over the years, iGaming has been a major contributor to the island’s economy, with the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) licencing online gambling sites that operate all over the world. As the gambling industry continues to grow, Malta will continue to benefit.

Part of why iGaming companies have been able to grow is thanks to the effectiveness of digital marketing. Search engine optimisation (SEO) has played a big role in helping consumers find the best iGaming sites, with an effective SEO strategy critical for breaking into competitive markets. Digital marketing organisations such as AWISEE that offer iGaming SEO have seen a growth in the number of Maltese organisations looking to expand into overseas markets such as the US.  

How the iGaming Industry has affected Malta

Malta ranks just below the United Kingdom in GDP per capita for European countries, and much of the island’s economy has been boosted by the iGaming industry. In 2020, the number of Maltese-registered online gambling companies increased from 284 to 314 in one year, while the number of active registered players rose 18% to more than 30 million.

While Malta’s dependence on iGaming has decreased from 12% of the total economy in 2017 to 8% in 2020, it still has an enormous impact on the island, bringing jobs and economic growth. The gaming industry was directly linked to more than 8,000 jobs in 2020, and the Malta Gaming Authority collected over €70 million in taxes and licence fees.

Aside from having an impact on the economy of Malta, the iGaming industry has also affected the island’s culture. With industry professionals from all over Europe travelling to the island for work and new startups being launched regularly, Malta has seen something of a renaissance. This has, however, also brought with it a higher cost of living for locals.

Malta has undoubtedly benefited from the global rise in interest in online gambling, and the island will continue to reap the rewards as the iGaming market grows. However, as interest in remote working grows, it’s unclear how Malta-based companies will proceed. While it’s unlikely that iGaming companies will stop establishing themselves on the island, it could mean fewer jobs created here.

Developing new iGaming markets overseas

In recent years, new overseas markets such as North America and Latin America opening up have been big news for the iGaming industry. The US legalised sports betting in 2018, and many US states have since introduced regulations to allow both online sports betting and casinos to operate. In addition, Canada recently gave the green light for individual provinces to fully legalise sports betting, giving operators a huge new market to establish themselves in.

Latin America has also been making regulatory changes towards online gambling, and the region is seen as something of a sleeping giant. Some of Europe’s biggest gambling brands have already made partnerships in the region, looking to be some of the first legal sports betting and casino companies.

As new regulations and better technology make online gambling more appealing for people all over the world, it opens up new and exciting opportunities for iGaming companies. Malta will always be at the heart of this, with the MGA responsible for licencing some of the biggest gambling brands. The changes mean potential new growth for the industry and implications for Malta too.