Malta – The Hub for iGaming Providers
Malta has often been referred to as the iGaming capital of the world. This is partially due to the large number of operators within the country and the levels of employment that the industry provides. Malta is also home to the ‘Malta Gaming Authority’ (MGA), which has issued betting licenses to hundreds of international operators across Europe. Popular casino games such as online blackjack are able to run smoothly and efficiently through operators such as Betfair, as they meet the high regulatory standards of the MGA.
The significance of the industry in Malta can be seen by the fact that, as of 2018, 12% of the Maltese economy is made up through iGaming. Malta has evidently had a huge impact on the iGaming industry from an operator’s perspective with many international companies moving their headquarters over to the country. However in terms of iGaming users, Malta has a relatively small population, so the level of impact has not been as significant when compared to the number of iGaming players in other European countries.
The Countries With The Highest Participation Rates
Whilst iGaming has seen an increase in player participation across the whole of Europe, the top three ranking countries for 2019 were Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. Sweden was the top-ranking country for player participation, with 59% of its gambling revenue coming through online channels. This has seen a significant increase, with Swedish online operators generating a reported 2.3 billion Euros.
Denmark was ranked with the second-highest participation rate, with 53.1% of revenue coming from iGaming in 2019. The impact of iGaming on mobile was also highlighted, with 32.3% of gambling revenue in Denmark coming through mobile devices. The participation rate has seen a significant rise since 2012, the first year of the online gaming market in Denmark, where 30.8% of gambling revenue came from online platforms.
Norway had the third-highest participation rate, ensuring the top three ranking countries were all Scandinavian. This highlights the significant impact that iGaming has had in this area of Europe. The UK was the fourth highest-ranking with 45% of gambling revenue coming through online platforms. The wide range of online betting options can account for the high participation rate in these countries, with a variety of online casino games being available as well as different sportsbook options. With iGaming operators offering more options across their platforms, providers have been able to reach a wider and more diverse audience.
It’s difficult to single out the exact countries that have had the biggest impact on the industry as a whole, due to the fact that a lot of the platforms are able to operate internationally. However, it is fair to say that Malta has had a significant impact on iGaming providers. The participation rates of the Scandinavian countries also showcase the impact that iGaming has had on players in those countries.