ICT and iGaming in Malta
MALTA: THE EUROPEAN ICT HUB
There has been a significant development in Malta’s Information and Communication technology industry. This industry sector bears among the best prospects in the country.
Malta has invested heavily in the ICT sector in terms of accessibility of online services. According to European Commission 2017, Digital Economy and Society Index Malta is ranked on position 12th out of the 28 European Union member states. It is also performing above EU average in the use of technology by business, internet use by citizens, providing digital public services and broadband connectivity. Malta is actually the only member state with full coverage of NGA broadband.
According to the European Union report e-Government Benchmark report, Malta was number one in all indicators related to online services technical availability and accessibility. Malta has even opened one-stop shops for the citizens who do not have access to the internet or who need specialized experience. These one-stop shops provide citizens with all services they require from one outlet. Similarly, citizens can benefit from over 800 services offered online and through the E- forms. These E- forms have helped in simplification of the processes and reducing bureaucracy. For instance, to access certain services required several forms even up to 20 different forms but now one requires just one form.
The government has managed to reduce waiting time related business activities for example to start a new business which initially required one month it now reduced to three days. There are several ICT investment projects which have been set up in Malta. The largest is the development of Smart city Malta by Tecom investment which stands at the cost of $ 300 million. SmartCity Malta is expected to be a regional ICT hub, and it is projected to produce 5600 jobs by 2021 hence transforming Malta to be a leader in the global ICT sector. Malta is the European leader in the quality of e-Government service and fast Next Generation Access NGA broadband coverage. The main challenge in Malta is to increase the digital skills of its population. Similarly, on the mobile, especially on the spectrum assignment Malta is below average.
Because of the drastic development in the IT sector, the fast procedure to register, the excellent legal advice and great progress in the IT sector Malta has attracted a large number of iGaming companies that choose to incorporate in Malta. Maltese lawyers are therefore highly experienced and competent in this field. Most legal firms in Malta has a department that deals solely with iGaming cases. Noteworthy is the fact that the gaming industry corresponds to the 12 % of the total economic value in Malta, according to the statistics of 2016. The total number of remote iGaming licenses reached 490 and the gaming licenses using B2B services licensed by the MGA reached the number 300 during 2016.