Number of players on Malta-licensed sites hits record high in H1 2022

| By Daniel O'Boyle
The number of players gambling with Malta-licensed operators hit a new high in the first half of 2022, after declines in the previous year.
Malta

The number of active player accounts with Malta-licensed operators rose by 8.7% year-on-year after a decline in 2021, to 19.3 million. This exceeded the previous high of 19.0 million recorded in the last six months of 2020.

The rise was mostly due to a record 8.9 million new accounts being created.

Much of the rise was due to higher numbers of younger players, with the portion of players aged between 18 and 24 rising to almost 25% of the total player base. In addition, the Malta gaming sector was found to have contributed €573m in gross value added for the half-year, or 8.0% of the Maltese economy. The gross value added total was up 12.4% from the first half of 2021.

The sector also employed 10,861 people as of June 2022, almost 600 more than a year earlier.

“The resilience of the Malta gaming industry during these trying times is largely attributed to its ability to remain flexible and adapt to change, while being supported by the MGA’s continued efforts to ensure that Malta remains a competitive and reputable jurisdiction of establishment,” the MGA said.

Revenue by licence type

While the MGA did not provide a total revenue figure, it did note the share of revenue that came from each game type. 

Type 1 licences, covering online casino games and similar products, hit a new high as a share of overall revenue, at 71.5%. Of this total, 79.8% – or 57.1% of the overall revenue total – came from slots.

On the other hand, the share of revenue from Type 2 licences, covering sportsbooks, dropped to 21.3%. Type 3 licences, which cover peer-to-peer gambling including poker and betting exchanges, held steady with 7.1% of revenue.

Malta gambling enforcement

The MGA continued to avoid the most extreme forms of enforcement activity. After cancelling only seven licences in all of 2021, it cancelled just one in the first half of 2022. This was a sharp decline from earlier years, with 14 licences having been cancelled in all of 2019 and 12 in 2020.

The number of online businesses licensed in Malta hit a new high, of 346, including 199 operators.

The regulator also reviewed 20 licence applications during the year. It issued six licences and rejected one application.

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