Located in the middle of the Mediterranean, Malta has been a strategic location for thousands of years. The smallest state in the EU, famous for sunshine and its rich history, is emerging as a key place to do business in the Eurozone.
Malta’s positive attitude to entrepreneurship and innovation, state-of the-art infrastructure and sound corporate governance has attracted growth-minded startups and multinationals for decades.
As an island nation, Malta’s telecoms infrastructure is linked to the rest of the world through four subsea cables that converge in Sicily, where they meet the longer continental sub-sea cable systems or hop across to mainland Europe. These sub-sea cables are owned and operated by a small number of operators, which can mean that the use of any one operator can be expensive and limited in diversity. 01T have been focusing on this challenge, and now have access to capacity on all sub-sea cables, ensuring value, diversity and superior networks for all of our clients.
In recent years, the country has diversified its economy beyond tourism into sectors such as financial services, iGaming, real estate and life sciences. Malta is aspirational and has positioned itself as a potential centre for the finance functions of mid-scale and multinational firms. Digital finance and blockchain innovation are seen as central to maintaining the growth of the financial sector.
Silvio Schembri, the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation has said:
‘I would like to put Malta on the international map as a blockchain hub; my wish is to create an entire new industry based on blockchain technologies and attract innovative start-ups. We are willing to throw our doors wide open to help companies develop new solutions’
Mr Schembri was also instrumental in proposing Malta’s new Gaming Act, which was passed in July. The act will strengthen the role of the MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) but will also allow for flexibility in licensing as the iGaming industry evolves in Malta and internationally.
Malta is Europe’s iGaming capital. It hosts the industry’s biggest players such as Paddy Power Betfair and Betsson and acts as a link to Europe for a number of Latin American and Asian companies. International investment is just about keeping pace with a sector that’s accelerating.
There are over 250 iGaming companies in place in Malta, part of a healthy ecosystem of startups, support firms, developers and platform providers. These companies are increasing the demand for high quality internet backhaul solutions and world class providers like 01T are providing solutions.
The MGA and the Maltese Government have created Gaming Malta, an independent non-profit that promote Malta in the remote gaming sector globally. They work with local authorities to make the country as attractive as possible to companies and help grow the gaming industry ecosystem.
Brexit is an opportunity for Malta. With a highly educated, English speaking population and a high living standard, Malta is a key location for international business in the EU. The UK leaving the EU may also prompt Maltese nationals to return home, topping up the country’s labour force and further enhancing Malta’s booming economy.
Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said that ‘Malta could be the UK’s gateway to Europe’, we think he could be right. As a UK based, but ultimately international company, 01T have established relationships both in Malta and the rest of the EU, ensuring a smooth transition for new and existing customers.
Looking ahead, millennials are entering the iGaming market, with high expectations. iGaming traditionally focuses more on functionality than aesthetics, many younger players may be used to the higher visual and audio quality found in video games.
Canny iGaming companies should be quick to embrace the capabilities of high speed connections and the potential of emerging technologies like AR for game play and UX. Many companies are also implementing AI to run iGaming analytical functions previously run by people.
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