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iGaming Malta - Trends, Talent & the Gig Economy

3 months ago by Luigi Muscat Filletti
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Malta’s position as a major iGaming hub has grown significantly over the past few years and has encouraged great investments from leading companies worldwide, bringing in an influx of talent and creating an abundance of opportunity for professionals of various expertise seeking jobs in Malta

The online gaming sector was regulated by Malta in 2004, with the island being the very first EU state to do so. Since then, the sector has enjoyed exponential growth, establishing itself as a vital pillar of the Maltese private economy and generating great opportunities for business and careers in Malta. Such success is shown through figures, with the iGaming sector contributing 12% of the total value of the Maltese economy and generating around 6,850 full-time jobs during the first half of 2018. However, this does not mean that the iGaming sector does not experience obstacles of its own. The digital age continues to add pressure on multiple sectors, with that of iGaming being no exception. 

Such success is shown through figures, with the iGaming sector contributing 12% of the total value of the Maltese economy and generating around 6,850 full-time jobs during the first half of 2018.

Legislations & Regulations - Trends & Talent Demand

To begin with, the growth of responsibility has certainly increased - a number of legal changes have taken place along the years, with legislations and regulations with regards to licensing and trading constantly being reviewed and updated as the sectors landscapes continues to evolve. More recently, a greater influence on market activity is being experienced through EU involvement which is seeing member states establishing their own licensing regimes, decreasing the opportunities for Maltese companies as a consequence. Moreover, compliance issues have grown as a result of this, as local companies continue applying for licences in several markets. Concerns related to anti-money laundering are also in constant discussion, with the 4th Anti-Money Laundering regulations recently implemented, back to back with the introduction of the new GDPR legislation in Malta. Taking in the positives of such occurrences, the iGaming sector is only getting stronger through each stage of its evolution, with an increase in top talent being noticed as companies within this sector aim to go from strength to strength. 

Greater expertise is now needed in areas of Regulatory and Compliance - professionals in these fields play a critical role in iGaming companies, having to take care of the flow of new and updated licensing and regulatory issues - meaning that many career opportunities for legal jobs in Malta will see a steady rise within this sector. On the other hand, professionals in tech with a focus on cybersecurity are also being highly sought after as GDPR and information security are a continuous concern for the iGaming industry. Companies want to ensure that their data as well as the data of their customers is well safeguarded and not subject to cases of fraud. 

 

Digital Ledger Technology - Opportunities and Skills Gaps

Sourcing top talent in tech is a major issue for this sector now more than ever before, especially through Malta’s latest regulations for the introduction of Digital Ledger Technology (DLT) which is forecasting a significant demand for highly rated skillsets in specific areas of tech such as Blockchain, BI and Big Data in order to take full advantage of the new business opportunities being presented to live up to the expectations of the deemed Blockchain Island. The reality that the demand for specialised roles is far greater than the supply means that companies must take full initiative to strengthen their employer branding efforts to attract and retain tech talent for the right reasons. Such practices take the form of up-skilling initiatives to keep the current workforce up to date with industry trends and collaboration with universities to ensure proper alignment between industry demands and academic syllabus, and going a step further by introducing internship opportunities for young and up-coming talent. The challenge to source top tech talent does not only present itself in the face of Blockchain advancements, but also through the core operations of iGaming companies which demand the best quality software developers and data engineers to create and maintain the necessary software infrastructures to reach and engage with their customers. 

The reality that the demand for specialised roles is far greater than the supply means that companies must take full initiative to strengthen their employer branding efforts​.

Due to the shortage of skills on the local job market, companies in the iGaming industry in Malta are seeking to attract offshore talent to Malta. This, however, poses a challenge in itself - Malta’s desirable quality of lifestyle meets its increasing cost of living, which creates issues for some professionals considering a job move to Malta. Due to this, iGaming companies continue to pressure Maltese authorities to work proactively to ensure that Malta remains a desirable and competitive destination for their industry. 

 

The Gig Economy - Freelance Talent for Tech Solutions

On the flip side, however, great opportunities lie ahead for companies ready to invest in the remote workforce that is the gig economy. Companies in iGaming should embrace the gig economy which provides a talent network of specialised skill  (freelance talent) to take on specific tech needs through contract-based jobs. In a digital age which is becoming more and more fast-paced, companies across all sectors are not realising that many a time, what they really require is not permanent talent, but skills on demand. Recruiting permanent full time roles for highly sought after expertise in areas such as Big Data, Software Engineering and BI prove quite costly in the long-term, and companies tend to make use of such professionals for particular problems which need immediate fixing or software structures which need optimising, making most cases short project-based jobs. The gig economy thereby acts as a practical solution to mitigate the skills gap by offering companies access to a talent pool of diverse expertise. 

 

Companies across all sectors are not realising that many a time, what they really require is not permanent talent, but skills on demand​.

 

All in all

The iGaming sector in Malta is destined to grow steadily, generating attractive jobs in Malta for a variety of roles and integrating top technologies to keep competition sharp and healthy between companies. As the industry progresses into the digital age, companies must tap into feasible and sustainable methods to address their skills gap, deploy a desirable employer brand and make the most out of the digital age.