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Malta Presents New Plan for Gaming Industry Growth
- November 18, 2014 By Nemanja L. -
Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) and the Government of Malta have joined ranks in an attempt to establish the island nation as the world’s most desirable gaming destination.
The country’s Secretary of Competitiveness and Economic Growth Dr Jose Herrera has presented a four-year plan that was drafted in collaboration with the Responsible Gaming Foundation (RGF).
The European Union state aims to increase their igaming infrastructure and has now outlined the business and economic strategies that should help Malta remain the most popular gaming jurisdiction in Europe.
Malta to Establish First Gaming Academy
Dr Jose Herrera has confirmed plans to create a unique Gaming Academy, designed to aid the country residents improve their chances of landing jobs in the gaming industry, while the body will also be in charge of research into problem gambling.
The measures aimed at promoting responsible gambling include promotion of responsible marketing as well as plans to draft an extensive study that would portray an overview of Malta’s gaming industry.
The RGF chairman Silvio Schembri is aware that the industry remains a major contributor to the national economy, but he believes that the negative effects should be taken into consideration as well.
“At EU level, it is estimated that between 0.5% to 2% of those who make use of gaming services end up with some sort of addiction. However, we also believe that these figures may not reflect the true picture due to lack of research,” the Labour MP said.
Electronic gaming machines and online establishments have been singled out as instances that create the most problem gamblers, with youths five times more likely to develop some sort of addition than adults.
There has been very little research in Malta over the years and that is why the four-year plan aims to make things right with a detailed study in the near future.
The island country has long ago become one of the favourite destinations for online gaming companies due to favourable gambling framework, with some 260 companies operating out of Malta and 430 gaming licenses issues at the moment.
As a result, the gaming industry contributes to no less than 12% of the GDP, with the government clearly hoping to increase this percentage in years to come. Jose Herrera has confirmed the government’s plans to ensure the steady growth of the somewhat controversial industry, while at the same time promoting responsible gambling and providing all the necessary aid to gambling addicts.