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Play to win: A Deloitte perspective

The local annual landmark gaming industry event, SiGMA, is just a few days away and the island is buzzing with activity.

Definitely one of the largest contributors to the Maltese economy, the gaming industry is strong and continues to grow - but not without its challenges. Shortage of human capital, increasing compliance obligations, the evolving tax landscape and challenges in the cyber world are some of the issues the gaming industry is currently facing as deregulation and reregulation are happening in a number of jurisdictions. Blockchain and its uses, including digital currencies, are constantly growing into a stronger reality.

In Malta only this year, the gaming regulatory regime has been completely revamped with effect from August 1, 2018, GDPR compliance obligations came through at the end of May and the scope of AML obligations was extended to cover gaming operators. Jobs in the gaming industry increased by 10 per cent during 2017 with specialised roles continuing to pose a challenge with the current available workforce.

Future-driven knowledge to help gaming stakeholders conquer these challenges efficiently

The UK gaming industry was recently under attack, inter alia, for the high level of problem gaming individuals. This led to the UK Gambling Commission’s commitment to strengthen its enforcement mechanisms with a re-focus on regulation to put consumers first. As a backdrop the uncertainty of Brexit continues to persist – clearly not an ideal situation for any business.

Sweden adopted its gambling bill ‘A re-regulated Gambling Market’ in April this year introducing licensing requirements for the first time, once again with a focus on the limitation of the negative effects on gaming and consumer protection. The new law is expected to take effect on January 1, 2019. Likewise, the Dutch and the Swiss are expecting new gambling laws to come into effect in 2019 as the Italians will, during the same year, experience a nationwide ban on of any advertising of gambling activities.

Not all is doom and gloom. Deloitte has a profound knowledge of the gaming industry and future-driven knowledge to help gaming stakeholders conquer these challenges efficiently.  Innovation is high on our agenda.  The firm see a holistic picture of the current state of play and leverage on our experts across functions and geographies to work with you towards holistic solutions across the globe.

Leading experts from across the Deloitte network will be speaking at focused sessions organised by Deloitte on November 28 and 29 to address aspects of particular relevance to the gaming industry. A tax and regulatory masterclass will cover aspects such as the UK GC’s renewed attention to consumer protection, the impact of an EU digital services tax, opportunities arising from VAT grouping, tax considerations arising from the accepting of bets and wagers in cryptos and the peculiarities of servicing new markets.

Deloitte’s experts on cyber risk will tackle the management of cyber risk as an essential tool for the growth and protection of the value of a business and will look into how to secure a strong, vigilant and resilient cyber risk programme in line with the strategic objectives and risk appetite of the business.

Deloitte’s session tackling the skill gap challenge affecting the remote gaming industry in Malta will focus on innovative solutions at the level of strategic thinking as well as the deployment of technology so as to tackle this challenge and you’re in for some awesome stuff as we explore Deloitte’s latest thinking, practical approaches and tools on remediating the shortage. This session, together with the component of cyber risk are relevant to industries beyond gaming and stakeholders from other sectors are welcome to attend. 

For more information visit www.deloitte.com/mt.

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