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Malta Prime Minister hails gaming industry

Malt

Malta
a’s Prime Minister has hailed the country’s gaming industry as a shining beacon of economic growth at an event marking a partnership between leading firms Intralot and Bit8.

The sector is Malta’s second largest contributor to GDP, accounting for more than 12% of its annual income, with around 8,000 employees supporting 250 licensed operators.

Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat said: “The strategic alliance of Intralot and Bit8 sets the example for other sectors of the Maltese economy.

“We are very satisfied to see innovative Maltese companies with clear vision becoming an international leader in its field and attract global investors.

“Both investors and consumers need a regulated environment and Malta is making great strides towards this direction.”

In the summer the global gaming supplier Intralot bought a 35% stake in Bit8, a gaming software development company, with a call option to raise its stake to 60%, and details of the strategic alliance were revealed at an event at the Malta Hilton.

Antonios Kerastaris, CEO at Intralot, said: “The combination of Bit8’s innovative and flexible technology with Intralot’s global footprint, operational expertise and jointly developed cutting-edge products will provide our customers with a world of new and exciting gaming experiences.”

He added: “We have invested in the Maltese market since 2004 when our subsidiary, Maltco Lotteries, was granted the first licence to operate the National Lottery.

“All these years we have become part of the country’s economic growth, creating employment, generating revenues for the state, fostering cooperation with local stakeholders and supporting the Maltese community.”

Dr Angelo Dalli, CEO at Bit8, said: “The global alliance between Bit8 and Intralot enables us to widen our reach on a global level, taking us closer to reaching our goal of becoming the world’s best gaming platform.

“The alliance also gives Bit8 additional resources to provide services to both online and land based gaming operators, enhance our service levels and professional services, while allowing us to invest more in our human resources and in our award winning Bit8 platform and our innovative artificial intelligence technology and solutions.”

Joseph Cuschieri, executive chairman at the Malta Gaming Authority, said: “I am sure that this strategic alliance between INTRALOT and Bit8 brings more value to the new shareholders but also to the gaming industry in general where irrespective of size and history, innovation is a must.

The same is true for Malta and as we embark on the road to regulate for innovation – to develop and employ innovative regulatory approaches that provide for the MGA to intervene only in as much as necessary, based on evidence of potential and actual risks to integrity and players.

“While there is a new dynamism in technological development and innovation to enhance player retention, for us it is equally, if not more important, that player protection remains our number one objective. We are aware that such new technologies also capture more player data that can be useful to develop more intelligent player protection mechanisms.”

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