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Malta Poised To Become Successful E-Gaming Centre

by Robert Lee, Tax-News.com, London

29 December 2004


At least $1 billion could be channelled into Malta’s financial services sector over a five year period if the jurisdiction uses new e-gaming legislation to its full advantage, one expert has suggested.

The Maltese authorities granted the first licence under revamped legislation in June 2004, and observers such as George Mangion of consulting firm PKF, believe the island is well placed to take advantage of an exodus of firms from the UK resulting from uncertainty on that country’s future tax regime.

"It is a safe bet that 800 new jobs could be created - provided we nurture this niche market and if the authorities avoid the pitfalls of unnecessary bureaucracy and invest more in the bandwidth infrastructure," forecasts Mr Mangion, according to the Times of Malta.

Mario Galea, chief executive of Malta's Lotteries and Gaming Authority revealed earlier this month that “a good number” of UK operators, including some well-known names, have already approached Malta, and Mangion reckons it is feasible that the jurisdiction could attract as many as 100 new firms in the years ahead.

Indeed, such is the discontent surrounding the UK Gambling Bill, a source revealed to industry news journal e-Gaming Review recently, that “the whole industry is thinking of moving to Malta if the proposed law isn't changed.”

Mangion observed: "Once we consolidate our bandwidth facilities, Malta could easily attract the cream of the operators since it boasts state of the art legislation regulating online gaming and a stable political and financial regime coupled with a unique tax regime.”

The boom in the e-gaming industry will also have a spin-off benefit for other sectors in the Maltese financial services industry notes Mangion, particularly in banking through credit card processing.

However, he added that Malta will need to ensure that the whole business environment, including factors such as taxes, compliance costs, and office and residential costs, is attractive to the industry to ensure the island’s success in the field.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series examining offshore e-commerce and online gaming is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report6.asp

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