Malta’s journey into an online startup haven began in 2004. When most countries were busy banning iGaming, the Mediterranean-based Island saw an opportunity. Legislators introduced remote regulations for online casinos and other startups.
14-years later, the small country is a hub for startups from all corners of the globe. With nearly $1 billion earned as revenue from online gaming companies, Malta’s 2004 decision was a master stroke. More than 10,000 of the country’s half a million population work in the iGaming industry.
Apart from online casinos like Zamsino, Malta’s lucrative rules have been attracting all sorts of online businesses. From cryptocurrency startups to business apps, marketing firms to software companies, large businesses are flocking to the Island.
Why are all sorts of online businesses moving to Malta?
Great Regulations and Policies
Last year, Startup Genome, an organization that evaluates startup developments, conducted a research on why online businesses were moving to different world countries. An intriguing insight surfaced. The primary reason businesses moved to Malta was the country’s business-friendly regulations. In no other country did startups say regulations were a primary reason for moving there.
With the new regulations, iGaming companies can now get a license valid for up to 10 years. By contrast, most countries offer online casinos that are only valid for one or two years. Taxation is as low as 5% and companies no longer have to pay fixed charges as tax. Low risk games like lotteries don’t pay the Gross Gaming Revenue under the new policies.
Apart from attracting companies with lax laws, Malta’s iGaming rules are also mindful of consumers. Companies cannot advertise or invite minors to gambling sites. They can’t use false advertising or use misleading offers to con their users.
Readily Available, Skilled Talent
Emerging severally as the best place to find experienced talent in Europe, startups don’t hassle for employees in Malta. A recent report by the country’s communication authority shows that the Island is only second in Europe in terms of affordable talent. Software engineers are particularly plenty. Immigrations rules are also not stiff especially if it regards the relocation of skilled staff.
Many online startups consider the availability of talent as extremely important when establishing offices in a foreign country. And while talent is often plenty in Europe and the Silicon Valley, affordability is a key problem. Malta has both, which makes it better positioned in attracting small and medium companies.
Ability to Host Diverse Demographics
They may operate and serve their customers digitally, but startups need peace and stability to operate in a country. When it means moving to a new region, working in a facilitative environment that is accommodating to all is highly important.
Startups bring with them employees from diverse ethnic groups. From South American to Asia, tech hubs consist of people from all corners of the world. Malta’s ability to accommodate everyone has been quintessential in helping the nation grow as a startups’ haven.
39% of companies in Malta are owned by immigrants and 79% of all workers in the casino business are foreigners. Compared to other tech hubs; the Island ranks fourth in accommodating diverse groups. Only the Silicon Valley, London and Berlin fare better in being cosmopolitans regions. Wellington, where startups like Kiwislots are based, Hong Kong and Paris also perform well.
The location of a brick and mortar business has influences its market reach. If located in a densely populated region, small businesses attract more customers. For online startups, location helps with attracting quality talent and mechanisms for growth.
Online startups want to know they can reach a local or global audience. And if the local government is not suited to enhance market research, the startups will tend to fail. In Malta, the availability of software engineers, digital marketers and fast internet connections are an attraction to startups. Entrepreneurs know they can rely on the Island’s systems to build online infrastructures and market their products globally.
Compared to other regions, Malta’s regulations are respected by both consumers and businesses around the world. If a startup is licensed on the Island, rarely will the company have problems operating in other countries. Consumers also ted to respect Maltese licenses compared to those offered in some countries.
Together with the high-earning Maltese population, the country’s regulations and ecosystems make it attractive for businesses that want to reach a global audience. Case and point, most of the online casinos, video gaming and crypto businesses in the country all serve consumers from around the world.
Ability to Scale
Many companies establish themselves in countries where they can scale. The US, the UK and China lead in attracting the largest businesses. Malta is a physically limited and can only host a specific number of companies. However, a small land size hasn’t stopped the Island from attracting businesses with large scalability.
Some of the companies located on the Island are billion dollar companies. Others moved from areas like China where scalability wouldn’t be a problem. Why are the businesses moving to such a small company? They’re all online businesses. And startups don’t need be located in a large country to scale.
There is no denying that iGaming is the biggest online industry in Malta. But other online sectors such as cryptocurrency and competitive video game startups have also been setting foot. The wide availability of talent suited for online casinos and other industries have been irresistible for startups.
Betting, crypto and video gaming are always hungry for new ideas, new technologies and markets. Malta provides all. The country has quality universities that are constantly producing a wide range of professionals. The government is tech-savvy and works with entrepreneurs to better the environment for them.
Malta-the Future of Online Startups
One of the leading tech hubs in the World, Malta is constantly reinventing its ideas to attract startups from all corners of the world. The iGaming industry is one of the nation’s income earners. But in recent years, cryptocurrency and video gaming companies have been establishing their headquarters on the small Island.
Its size is not a weakness though. The country has an extremely high talent supply, especially for online casino industries. The government is ever co-operative with startups and the people are accommodating to everyone.