Gaming companies are an important segment of the Maltese economy. A lot of positive things are said about these companies. Ever since they set shop in Malta, we have grown accustomed to competitive salaries, more job opportunities and higher income from rental properties. Malta is now in a position where it cannot afford a dip or downturn in the industry as the outcome may be catastrophic.
Whilst we are normally accustomed to hearing about the success of such companies, making most heavily enticed to apply for a job there, not everything is plain sailing. Hearing about exceptional salary figures and nice breakfasts immediately indicates success. With that said, we have been hearing some negative reports revealing that not all necessarily bodes well.
In the past few months, we have heard that one of the leading betting companies, Betsson, underwent an operational reform which saw job cuts and people needing to search for alternative employment. Whilst most of the people terminated were immediately recruited by other competitors, it was still quite a shock that the leading gaming company in the country was axing people. This was just after a brief period of uncertainty where some rumours seemed to point that Betsson was leaving Malta. A big blow for the country should it ever materialise.
This notwithstanding the fact that there are several small gaming companies which closed shop due to the stringent competition and high costs to attract adequate staff. This is also coupled with the fact that changes in Swedish legislation has made it harder for local gaming companies. Just recently, we have also heard reports about changes in leadership in one of the country’s biggest gaming players, Gaming Innovation Group (GIG). The company has removed its co-founder and long serving CEO Robin Reed, which is deemed as a big shock to the local industry.
Following this shocking news, the company highlighted that the former CEO was pivotal in the development of a unique one-stop global technology provider. With that said, GIG is now entering into its next phase of development, bringing to the fore different challenges that need to be met with new and refreshed leadership. The company’s current Chief Operating Officer will act as the new acting Chief Executive Officer until a recruitment process is underway.
Looking back at the story of GIG, one notices that in 2008 the company grew rapidly, engaging hundreds of employees, boasting an office in St Julian’s, just in front of St George’s Bay. With that said, this year the company made a revenue loss of sixteen percent in the second quarter. This downturn in results is associated with stringent regulation in the Swedish market.
With that said, although some aspects may appear bleak, Malta is expecting the setting up of Bet365, which is yet to employ another five hundred people. This is also coupled with the fact that another leading betting company, Tipico, undertook a major investment in an office building which cost millions.
Will the gaming industry remain at the top? Let us know in the comments section.