A report commissioned by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has found that more than half of Malta’s population spent money on gambling in 2015, at a total spend of €125m.
The survey, carried out between 2015/16 on a sample group of 1000 Maltese, found that the Maltese national lottery proved to be the most popular type of gambling, accounting for almost 50% of the total revenue generated.
It found that 56% of the population aged 18 years and over had spent money on some form of gambling in 2015, with the average weekly expenditure being around €12.30.
The survey also found that almost 46% of the population regularly engaged in ‘free gaming’, including internet games and free-to-play digital games.
Only 1% to 2% of the population who spent money on gambling reported an adverse affect on their lifestyle, with unemployed individuals aged 45 or over being most likely to engage in paid gambling.
At a press conference announcing the survey’s findings, Silvio Schembri, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services said the survey ”was needed in order to understand fully the effect of gambling behaviour on the social life of the Maltese population, as well as understanding the economic impact this has on their everyday life.”
Whilst recognizing the positive effects of the Igaming industry on the Maltese economy, Schembri stressed the importance of the government’s role in devising policies to safeguard this activity without negatively impacting society.
The MGA’s Executive Chairman, Joseph Cuschieri added: “For the first time we are publishing a scientific survey which clearly articulates the gambling behaviours of the Maltese population.
This should help all stakeholders to shape policies based on scientific data rather than impressions or myths hence a more informed debate about the economic and social effects of gambling in Malta. The survey also gives size and scale of potential gambling addiction problems in Malta”.
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