The online gambling sector is one that is continually moving forward. iGaming as a whole has weathered many a storm, managing to stay successful through economic crises and recessions and opening up into exciting new areas. As more and more businesses venture into the world of iGaming, competition increases and online casinos are looking to add more and more community-based games into their portfolios. Doing so means that they can increase playing times and expand on their player demographics.
Research shows that millennials are more interested in community-based skill games than traditional casino games or table games such as poker. This means that if online casinos want to attract, engage and retain a new generation of consumers, they need to look towards incorporating eSports and similar community-based games into their repertoire.
Otherwise known as electronic sports, eSports is a type of competition that uses video games. It often takes the form of organised, multiplayer video game tournaments that can take place between professional players or teams. Whilst it was once something of a niche activity, over recent years eSports has become a fully-fledged subculture with a huge fan base of some 454 million viewers and a total annual revenue for 2019 set to reach $1 billion, almost doubling by 2022.
One of the main indicators that eSports is here to stay is the way in which land-based and online casinos have embraced it, seeking to expand into the sector and develop new ways and means of offering eSports to clientele.
Another indication is the commitment of several national regulators in creating a space where eSports can thrive. One example is Malta, already a well known iGaming and online casino hub, its government has already expressed its desire to create a central hub in Europe for the video gaming sector. In May, they announced that they want to eSports sector to be worth 1% of their annual GDP as well as employing up to 3000 local professionals.
Malta is already home to around 20 eSports companies and there are big plans in the pipeline for incentives on personal and corporate tax, startup funding, and financial seed and risk capital to get businesses up and running. The government also plans to invest in a gaming incubator, create a strong local ecosystem for esports and to host large eSports events in the coming years.
Already in place for any business setting up in Malta is the enticing tax imputation system which can allow for a corporate tax rate as low as zero, depending on qualifying criteria, as well as some 70 double taxation treaties. It also enjoys a stable banking system, quick and efficient company incorporation processes, and for those looking to set up operations in Malta, there is a talented, multilingual workforce already in place. A small island with a big appetite for business and innovation, it is the perfect choice for anyone looking to expand into, or further develop with eSports business.
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