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A Deloitte perspective on challenges in the gaming industry
One of the largest contributors to the Maltese economy, the gaming industry is strong and continues to grow - but is not without its challenges. A shortage of talent, increasing compliance obligations, an evolving tax landscape and challenges in the cyber world are some of the issues that the gaming industry is currently facing, as deregulation and reregulation are happening in a number of jurisdictions. Even blockchain and its uses, including digital currencies, develop into a stronger reality as we speak.
In Malta only this year, the gaming regulatory regime has been completely revamped with effect from 1st August 2018, as GDPR compliance obligations came through at the end of May and the scope of anti-money laundering (AML) obligations was extended to cover gaming operators. Jobs in the gaming industry increased by 10% during 2017, with specialised roles continuing to pose a challenge to source from the currently available workforce.
The UK gaming industry recently came under attack, inter alia, due to 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 aimed at putting consumers first. As a backdrop, the uncertainty of Brexit continues to persist – clearly not an ideal situation for any business.
In the meantime, the rest of Europe has been experiencing similar changes. The gambling bill ‘A re-regulated Gambling Market’ was adopted by Sweden in April 2018, 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 the 1st January 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 any advertising of gambling activities.
However, not all is doom and gloom. At Deloitte we see things differently. We have a profound understanding of the gaming industry which, together with future driven knowledge, can help gaming stakeholders conquer these challenges more efficiently. Innovation is high on our agenda. Be it cyber security, the skills gap, cryptos or the evolving regulatory landscape, we see a clear picture of the current state of play and are able to leverage Deloitte’s latest thinking, innovation, strategies, tools and expertise across functions and geographies to work with you towards holistic solutions aim at managing the future.
Our gaming services team provides a unique global perspective and expertise on the industry that draws on our extensive experience of the European and international gaming industry. We serve leading organisations in both the traditional and online gaming market, from lotteries to casinos.
Learn more about Deloitte's range of gaming services.