Malta’s decline as the hub of the gaming industry is becoming a reality. Until now, the epicenter of iGaming in Europe was located on this small island in the Mediterranean. However, increasingly stringent laws and gambling restrictions in various countries may kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Malta: the decline of the goose that laid the golden eggs
IGaming industry low hours
This week The Stars Group (Poker Star and Sky Bet) has laid off around 50 employees from its offices in Malta. The list of layoffs is expected to grow in the coming weeks. Despite these setbacks, the company insists that Malta will continue to be a major hub. Among the possible causes of these layoffs are regulatory problems.
Currently the business group is not going through its best moment, since just a few days ago it reduced a large part of its staff in the offices of the Isle of Man. Among the rumors that circulate is also the possibility that the company relocates the Customer Service department to Bulgaria. A business strategy to cut costs, since Bulgaria is one of the countries in the European Union with the highest salaries low.
Global Gaming and GIG in trouble
In recent years, the gaming industry has brought great economic benefits to companies in the sector. However, this trend is changing little by little. One of the main reasons came when the Swedish government decided to introduce strict regulations at the beginning of 2019.
Other countries had already done it before, but with Sweden it can be said that the decline of iGaming began. The Swedish company Global Gaming is a clear example of the slowdown in the sector. Global Gaming will reduce its workforce by around 50% before the end of the year. It currently has a total of 190 employees and is expected to only retain between 90 and 100 people.
For its part, the company GiG has announced that it will not continue producing its own games through GiG Games. The company plans to close the study they have in Marbella at the end of the year and at least 25 employees have already been laid off. The CEO of GIG, Richard Brown, has commented that this decision will allow “a saving of approximately 250,000 euros per month”.
These are not good times for online lottery betting operator Multilotto either. Between 10 and 15 employees have been laid off, about half of the workforce. The reason why they have had to make this readjustment of the workforce is due to the loss of licenses in the United Kingdom and Malta.
Ceuta and Melilla are nominated as iGaming operations center
Maybe it is early to say that Malta will cease to be the goose that lays the golden eggs in Europe. What is a fact is that this small island in the Mediterranean is losing competitiveness in the sector little by little.
In recent times, some well-known companies such as Betfed or Codere have opened offices in Ceuta and Melilla. To these companies we must also add: Aconcagua Juegos, Jokerbet, Luckia, Mondobet and Suertia. In 2018 the Government announced a plan of tax advantages to attract companies to the Community of Ceuta and Melilla and it seems that an effect is emerging. Will this Community become the new Malta?
One of the key moments for the iGaming industry will occur at the end of October after the resolution of Brexit. Time will tell us if the decline of the goose that lays golden eggs occurs in Malta.