Malta’s iGaming sector is expected to be its’ second most important sector over the next five years, coming in behind the tourism and leisure industry for the second year in a row despite the damage dealt to the former by the pandemic.
These revelations came as part of the 17th annual edition of EY Malta’s Attractiveness Survey, which gathered the insights from existing Foreign Direct Investment companies.
Just under half of respondents (46 per cent) chose iGaming as a leading business sector for the next five years, representing a significant gap of 22 per cent compared to the first place tourism and leisure industries.
This represents a decline of 10 per cent in one year, and is even more significant when considering that in 2019 it was believed to be Malta’s second leading industry.
However, despite the drop in the perceived importance of the industry, the report acknowledges that the gaming industry is estimated to have generated €924 million in terms of gross value added (GVA) during 2020, representing around eight per cent of the economy’s total.
iGaming is said to contribute to the generation of GVA through links with other major sectors, including professional services, financial and ICT activities, hospitality and catering services, distributive trades, and real estate.
When indirect effects are taken into consideration, the contribution of the industry to the economy’s GVA in 2020 is estimated at 10.2 per cent.
Employment in the industry is also said to have grown at a rather significant rate in 2020, rising by nearly 12 per cent.
The report also notes that while a benchmark revision in national accounts data used to calculate GVA estimates saw the iGaming industry fall from among the top three contributors, the sector still contributes massive amounts.
“It is important to note that during an exceptional year where the total economy’s value added fell by 4.3 per cent, the gaming industry recorded one of the highest growth rates in value added relative to other sectors, equivalent to 15.3 per cent,” the report indicated.
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