Editors Letter

If the pandemic could speak, it could probably sum itself up by stealing a quote from the Maltese Falcon: “My way of learning is to heave a wild and unpredictable monkey-wrench into the machinery.” It’s never too late to learn, I guess. Seeing as we’re all on the receiving end of that wrench, though, it’s been a particularly difficult time we could have done without. But we’ve done our share of learning too. With SiGMA stuck in its dizzying holding pattern until November at the soonest, we thought it prudent to still put together this edition of Malta Focus, which, if all of this Covid insanity never happened, would have been on offer at the show late last year. But one thing we’ve learned is that if there’s a strong enough demand for something, we better deliver.

While the industry collectively laments missing out on island warmth, and show hosts unable to welcome us there, we do our best to bring you a taste of what’s to come, and what to expect when we finally touch down at Malta International.

We hear from Roger Strickland, director online gaming and business development at corporate services provider CSB Group, about how the island is strengthening as a global destination and an industry hub. “I believe the industry in Malta has adapted extremely well to the new online landscape driven by the pandemic,” he says. “But it also had less adapting to do compared to other markets because of it already being a leader of innovation.”

And, while Strickland works with the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) on behalf of CSB Group clients applying for licences, we also get an exclusive with newly appointed MGA CEO Carl Brincat. There’ll always be regulatory shifts that keep things fluid, but Brincat comes into the role with a firm conviction to ramp up strong partnerships with other regulators and stakeholders, as well as with the industry itself. The symbiosis of industry and regulator is critical for longstanding success. “We want to accelerate our continued growth as a regulator to strike the balance between being sufficiently rapid and flexible for such a dynamic industry, while at the same time never prejudicing the rigour of our checks,” he says. Let’s hope ‘balance’ is the operative word so we can meet in the Med in November.

In The Magazine

A Driving Force

Entrepreneur Anders Bergman, brother of Catena Media co-founder Erik Bergman, talks to Tim Poole about Malta-based, a site designed to help people battle gambling addiction

Safe and Secure

Kayne Said of the Responsible Gaming Foundation (RGF) Malta opens up to Ezra Amacher on the organisation’s response to Covid-19, what its doing to slow problem gambling among youth and more

Keeping the Pace

Newly appointed Malta Gaming Authority CEO Carl Brincat speaks to Gambling Insider about the changing face of Maltese gaming and regulation

Crypto-skeptics to Crypto-centrics?

SiGMA founder Eman Pulis speaks to Gambling Insider about the blockchain island – and gives a balanced account of crypto’s recent surge

An Efficient Route To Compliance

Jaime Debono, MD of iGaming Academy, depicts an increasingly hazardous regulatory landscape, but shows compliance can still be achieved efficiently

Well Positioned to Capitalize

Roger Strickland Jr., CSB Group director, online gaming and business development, speaks to Malta Focus about why the region is the hub of online gaming and how it adapted successfully to the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic

Turning Churn into Return

Andrew Foster, head of business development at Enteractive, discusses the importance of personalisation in regard to player retention, and how sharing the love keeps players coming back for more

Something to Celebrate

Daniel Eskola, CCO at Relax Gaming, details the optimism that has sustained the company for the past decade, and the winning formula to come out the other side of the pandemic stronger than before

The State of the iGaming Job Market in Malta

The igaming jobs market is running at full speed in 2021 and according to Julian Perigo, managing director at leading international igaming talent acquisition firm Boston Link, don’t expect it to slow down any time soon

The Names of the Game

Christine Lewis, chief commercial officer at Pariplay, the igaming aggregator and content provider, explains how aggregation, distribution and retention combine to form the trifecta for success

Recruit and Go

Liana Mifsud, head of HR at Play’n GO, discusses employer branding and the gaming recruitment market within Malta

Virtute et Constantia

Sebastian Jarosch, Betsson Group head of affiliates, speaks about life in Malta during the coronavirus pandemic, and how the company, its employees and the Maltese Government have adapted

Two Years in

Singular chief commercial officer Robert Dowling speaks to Gambling Insider two years into his role with the supplier