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MGA reports 5.3% revenue drop in 2020

| By Marese O'Hagan
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has reported a 5.3% drop in revenue year-on-year in 2020 as it accounts for the effects of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Malta Gaming

The body also revealed that the gaming industry contributed an estimated €924m to the economy in 2020, a decrease of some 40.8% on the €1.56bn it contributed in 2019.

The Authority’s total revenue for the year was €77.3m, a 5.3% drop from €81.7m in 2019.

Authority fees brought in €12.2m of this figure, comprised of €8.4m in licence fees, up 4.1% year-on-year, and €295,000 in application fees, down 38.2%, while other revenue brought in €3.5m, a €2.7m increase from full-year 2019.

Gaming companies’ compliance contributions and levies brought in the bulk of revenue at €65.0m, down 10.0% year-on-year.

Administrative and other expenses came in at €12.0m, made up mostly of staff costs at €7.2m, while general administrative expenses made up a further €1.1m.

Depreciation and amortisation on property, plant and equipment and intangible fixed assets amounted to €1.1m of the total expenses, while contributions to other entities accounted for a further €1.0m. The remaining expenses came from auditor remuneration, chairperson’s emoluments and board honoraria, promotional expenses, professional fees and provision for doubtful debts.

The total expenses left the regulator’s operating revenue at €65.2m, a decrease of 4.7% compared to 2019.

Elsewhere in the report, the MGA revealed that the number of gaming machines in Malta’s 4 licensed casinos, Dragonara Casino, Portomaso Casino, Casino Malta and Oracle Casino, had fallen from 954 in 2019 to 909 in 2020.

In total, 387 gaming licenses were issued throughout the year, 82.1% of which were for remote gambling. This was 35 more licences issued than in 2019.

The annual report also detailed that the MGA had issued 69 warnings, suspended 3 licenses and cancelled a further 12 during the year.

In addition, during 2020, the MGA carried out 1,475 criminal probity screening checks, an increase of 13.5% year on year.

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