Typing / Unsplash

Glenn Debattista, Chief Operating Officer at Revpanda, on Wednesday (today) highlighted that Malta should not overly rely on the iGaming industry for economic growth, despite the fact that it has thrived for so many years.

He commented after recent Eurostat data showed that Malta’s arts, entertainment and recreation sector makes up 16.9 per cent of the value added in the country’s economy, the most out of any EU country. However, it is important to note that these ventures also include gambling companies, which in turn account for 98 per cent of the value added, the methodological notes accompanying the Eurostat data explain.

Mr Debattista, well known in the iGaming industry through his wide array of experience working with local and international companies, noted that the industry being such a significant portion of Malta’s economy can be seen from two different viewpoints.

Glenn Debattista
Revpanda COO Glenn Debattista / LinkedIn

On one hand, it is a welcome sign that 20 years since Malta first delved into the iGaming industry, it is still thriving locally.

However, conversely, individuals who are more cynical may say that the “country is too over-reliant on one specific industry.”

“Having been in this industry almost right from the start, I’ve seen the multiple benefits that iGaming brought to Malta, mainly job creation and value added to the economy,” Mr Debattista said.

While he acknowledged that these are all “great benefits,” he also pointed out that given all the fluctuations in the global iGaming market, regulatory changes, as well as other factors, one “can only hope that relying too heavily on this sector will not be detrimental for Malta in the long run.”

There are approximately 12,000 people employed within this sector in Malta, equivalent to 5.3 per cent of Malta’s total workforce, the highest proportion of workers of any country in the EU. “Therefore, many rely on this industry to keep going strong for many years to come,” Mr Debattista affirmed.

Mr Debattista has worked as COO at Revpanda, a digital marketing agency operating in the iGaming industry, for the past two years. In 2017, he created iGaming Professionals in Malta (IGPiM), a Facebook group with more than 4,000 members that allows iGaming professionals working and living in Malta to network with each other more effectively.

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