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Bitcoin Gambling Legislation: Malta Rules and Regulations

The Malta Gaming aAuthority (MGA) has finally released their much-awaited gambling industry status report for 2017 and it’s full of good news for everyone involved. An enlarged contribution to the local economy from gambling, more jobs, bigger taxes, and a thrilling legal environment, the year was full of winnings all the stakeholders.

More importantly, Malta is on the cusp of taking on bitcoin casino gambling to whole new levels. Based on the successes of last year, the gambling industry in Malta only looks to increase in freedom of also ease of regulators and the government Parliment is backing the gaming organization too.

Gambling in Malta is Scaling to New Heights

malta gaming authority looking to legalize bitcoin gambling

The Maltese economy gained an awe-inspiring  €1.1b from bettors in the last year and half. The Maltese economy was one of the strongest performers last year in the entire European Union, registering as much as a 6.9% increase in growth in real GDP. And it seems that the gambling industry contributed a great deal to the impressive figures. The MGA reported that the betting economy injected a respectable €1.1b into the economy, a 10% increase over the revenues realized in 2016, and obviously much more than years prior, as well.

Overall, at 11.3% of Malta’s cumulative economy, online and land gambling and gaming is ranked third-largest in terms of total value added. This makes sense since Malta has for many years been a leading gambling hub. Furthermore, today, Malta sits at the top as a powerhouse in Blockchain technology making the bitcoin casino option stronger than ever.

It’s not yet clear from the regulator’s findings how much of the announced revenues came from Bitcoin gambling though it could be significant considering that many of the world leading online casinos run profitable operations from Malta.

Indeed, the MGA results show that 287 gaming operators were in operation at the close of 2017. Moreover, entering 2018 bitcoin casinos were regulated properly, with gambling licenses, including from online Bitcoin casinos such as myBitcoinslots. The trend is showing that at 625 casinos, 100 more than the previous year, will look to only grow in 2018. The state has also been enjoying a piece of the pie with taxation from gambling now standing at €59.1M – up three million euro (€56.3) in 2016.

Visitors to Casinos Continue to Grow

MGA has licensed four land-based casinos and continues to register more international casinos. For some reason, there was stagnation in the number of visits year to year as the recorded 900,000 visits were essentially the same as in 2016. Yet, this can contribute also to the increase in online gambling opportunities in 2017! The report does not note how many individuals used online gambling over land based gambling. On the same note, the authority is of the opinion that sports betting machines will become more prominent which is realistic, seeing that more players are venturing into Bitcoin sports betting.

Strikingly, International casino guests rose 3.5% last year, maintaining the growth trend experienced in related economic performance indicators such as the previously mentioned sales growth. In terms of demographics, there were more players in the bracket 55-64 years and 65+ visiting gambling platforms. Improved household income, an expanding tourism market, and a higher resident population as a result of immigration also played an important role in bettering the fortunes.

Heathcliff Farrugia - Malta Gaming Authority CEO

The Industry Created More Jobs in 2017

In line with the boom captured elsewhere, the gaming industry also exceeded expectations in job creation, soaring to account for over 6,600 direct full-time jobs as at the turn of the past year, over 500 more jobs than 2016. The growth in employment was triggered by the rising demand for workers in the online gaming sector which rose by about 530 compared to 2016 with the Bitcoin gambling segment also adding its fair number of new opportunities thanks to its advancing popularity.

On closer observation, the tide seems to favor online gaming casinos because conversely, land-based gaming sector employment declined by about 50 jobs. Still, the momentum is expected to remain with internet betting websites as interest in Bitcoin gambling swells not only in Malta but also across Europe as a whole. Experts believe that the industry is primed to balloon further thanks, in part, to the new Gaming Act which reinforces Malta’s position as one of the topmost forward-looking jurisdictions in the planet.

Subsequently, new betting companies will continue to open hoping to cash in on the new thriving environment for both players and operators. The sum total of these developments is more employment and golden opportunities for the betting community.

Malta this year also launched the Malta Islamic Finance Association in an effort to bring cryptocurrencies into the main frame. “Government’s efforts in the world of virtual currencies will complement Islamic finance, an area which will be further explored in the coming months,” said Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri.

Malta Gaming Authority Meeting in 2018

Expect 2018 to be Malta’s Biggest Year to Date

The GMA is betting on the sector to sustain its record-breaking performances in 2018. A flourishing playing field, passionate bettors, and unrestricted access to multiple online Bitcoin casinos including the newly upgraded FortuneJack are some of the pillars of the predicted success.

And with more countries allowing Bitcoin betting to continue unabated, the global industry outlook is also positive meaning Malta’s experience may be duplicated elsewhere. Results of surveys conducted by the regulator estimate an upshot in all the crucial variables with employment forecast to go up by 10% and the Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) escalating by 15%.

In the meantime, existing remote casinos such as the excellent BitStarz are anticipated to continue upping their game by inventing high-class playing platforms, incorporating the latest gaming technologies, and availing more games.

Conclusion

While, 2017 was a remarkable year for all the parties in Malta’s gambling arena, there is more to come. The openness and restrictionless opportunities make it possible for bitcoin gambling to thrive. Furthermore with an increase in taxation, no one is complaining either and the country is reaping the growth benefit. More taxation for the government, higher employment, and improved revenues are just some of the developments that is leaving everyone happy.

Online Bitcoin companies were right at the heart of it and are expected to continue dominating the sector as more Maltese turn to remote gaming. Even better, the GMA says the next year looks more promising from all angles and could even surpass 2017’s performance. It could, therefore be, that the best time to join the Maltese gambling train now as Malta scales towards the apex.

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