- Represent the iGaming industry (operators, suppliers, affiliates) based in Malta
- Identify the key common issues the industry is facing from an overall business perspective
- Drive action and initiatives in Malta to ensure that Malta remains the most appealing European country for the industry
- Speak for the iGaming industry in lobbying efforts towards other European countries that are regulated or may be regulating
- Endorse and promote Corporate Social Responsibility
HOW WE OPERATE
- Proactively Collaborate with the government, private entities and other key stakeholders to push forward the initiatives necessary to fulfil our mission.
- Communicate iGEN’s purpose and work via press releases, interviews, website, articles, whitepapers
EGBA Announces European Safer Gambling Week 2023: 13-19 November
iGEN sponsors Maltese athlete: 10 Ironmen challenges in 10 days
iGEN core team meet with Dr Miriam Dalli to discuss sustainability
iGEN and BetBlocker promote awareness of safer gambling blocking software during ESGW22
iGEN supports European Safer Gambling Week 2022
iGEN organises major CSR event for World Cleanup Day
iGEN and The Malta Chamber sign cooperation agreement
Continued Membership Expansion At iGEN
The iGaming industry and local NGOs come together for World Cleanup Day 2022
LEARN MORE about igen
What is iGEN and what is its main objective?
iGEN (iGaming Executives Network) is an association set up in 2018 and comprises the leading iGaming companies based in Malta and operating on the European & international markets. Malta’s iGaming industry has enjoyed tremendous growth over the past years, but there are also common issues that all companies operating on the island are facing at the moment. That’s why we felt there was the need for an association that would coordinate and follow-up on joint initiatives to enable positive change.
What are the main issues the iGEN aim to address?
We have a whole list of initiatives and projects that we have started to work on. Some of the issues that we plan to address are specific to the iGaming industry, such as staff shortages as well as problems with the banking sector. Then there are other, more general challenges that the country is facing, which have also repercussions on the iGaming industry. For instance, Malta’s rental prices have gone up dramatically in recent years. As a result, a lot of people are forced to flat-share and/or move away from central areas.
That puts additional strain on Malta’s infrastructure: in our opinion, it’s essential for the country’s future to strengthen the public transportation, leverage the beautiful sea that surrounds our island to establish more sea links and have an extensive network of cycle lanes connecting different areas of Malta. We will be working together with the Maltese government and policymakers in the public sector, as well as other stakeholders such as GamingMalta, the Bankers’ Association, the Real Estate Association and other key organisations to help come up with solutions.
What is the biggest pain point for companies at the moment?
Malta’s booming gaming industry means all companies are competing for the same, limited talent pool, which among other things has resulted in high staff turnover and somewhat inflated salary expectations. There are some 700 iGaming jobs advertised at any moment in time, and most likely not all roles are published on job boards! We have to come up with solutions to overcome this skills shortage. iGEN is also collaborating with ‘HR Connect’, an association of HR executives which is involved in initiatives to attract & retain the best and the brightest to Malta, as well as in educating the local workforce. The new educational institute, EGIM, is already seeking to nurture iGaming talent and this is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done. One idea is to encourage more universities to join forces with us to produce graduates who meet the needs of the industry. And it is also important to further develop the schools at all ages, from kindergarden to high school, as current capacity is very limited considering the influx of foreign personnel with waiting lists at most establishments.
Many companies mention access to banking services as a major hurdle. What role can iGEN play in ensuring a better relationship with the banking sector?
The Maltese Government prides itself that Malta has become the home of iGaming excellence, and rightly so! Yet gaming companies struggle to get access to the Maltese banking system. It is extremely difficult for a start-up associated with gaming (or blockchain technology for that matter), to open a bank account in Malta, which of course is an essential component of basing the business on the island. Opening personal bank accounts for foreign employees in Malta is also a lengthy and laborious process. While the situation is rather complex, we hope to make a positive contribution by engaging in an open dialogue with the banking sector: initial signals are positive!
Malta is home to the global iGaming industry. From an international perspective, are you planning to take iGaming advocacy to a new level?
Primarily we want to drive positive change in Malta. However, part of our charter is to support the Maltese Government and engage ourselves in discussions with other European countries, Regulators as well as at EU level. There are other associations that have a specific European brief, but none that specifically represent the European operators that are based in Malta, the home of the global iGaming industry. I believe the fact that we are now taking a more collaborative approach to issues concerning the industry will help make our voice heard locally and internationally.
What are your expectations for Malta’s iGaming industry over the next 3-5 years?
We will see more big companies setting up offices in Malta due to Brexit. My biggest concern is that if operational costs are going to increase further, Malta will become uncompetitive from a cost perspective and companies will have no choice but to start looking elsewhere to grow their businesses. Malta is a unique country with many unique advantages and benefits, but it requires dynamic solutions and bold initiatives to ensure it remains the most appealing EU country for the iGaming industry in the years to come.