MGA Publish Insights To COVID-19 Effect

Conducting a survey among its licence holders, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has published first insights of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Malta’s online gambling market.

The report, conducted by the ‘Information & Research’ unit of the MGA in April, detailed pandemic impacts on each individual licensee category including operators of B2C, technology suppliers, marketing services and operations.

The MGA explained.: “The survey covered a number of different areas, including impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Gaming Revenue (GR) or revenue, operating costs and investments. It also focused on the industry concerns and actions taken by operators during this pandemic.”

Securing input from 151 licenced B2C operators, the MGA forecasted an aggregated 12 percent decrease in gross gaming revenues (GGR) for 2020.

The MGA claimed that its ‘Type 2’ (sports betting) B2C licensees were the ‘most exposed’ to COVID-19 impacts, resulting in the postponement of the calendar of global sports, as Malta sports betting incumbents report 40 percent lower GR than previous predictions for 2020.

Some B2C licensees have also indicated they would ‘postpone investment’ plans for 2020.

B2B technology providers, forced to withstand operator shocks, have projected about 20 percent lower GR results than expected in their annual budget statements.

Mirroring B2C trends, the MGA reported that the incumbents of B2B between 33-38 percent said they had frozen their investment plans during 2020.

The report goes on to add: “The results show that the worst-hit sector is projected to be the B2C sector, in particular the operators exposed to Type 2 game types. Indeed, the GR for this sector is projected to be 40% lower than that projected in earlier budgets for the same full year 2020.

“Most of the operators are considering postponing investment plans for a later date, subject to a notable degree of uncertainty. The key highlights from this survey are presented below.”

The MGA added that it would continue to study licensees and market impacts relevant to COVID-19, where more information will be released by its research department in light of potentially changing circumstances.