Lack of skilled workers in Malta's iGaming industry

Tyler Durden

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Jul 2, 2016
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The Malta Gaming Authority has now addressed in a new report, the shortage of skilled workers in the field of Online Casinos. At the end of 2017, almost 800 jobs were vacant in the Malta iGaming industry. The largest share of this was due to a lack of programmers.

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In 2017, 5,861 full-time employees in Malta were employed in the Online Gaming industry. During the year, the number of employees in this sector increased by 10%. At the same time, however, 781 posts were not filled, the biggest Problem being that companies do not find skilled workers with the required qualifications.

The gambling industry is very strong in Malta. In 2017, the sector had a gross value added of 1.1 billion euros. The sector accounts for 11% of the Maltese Economy. Compared with 2016, there was a further increase of 10%. There are currently 294 gaming companies in Malta that could have generated a total of 6,673 full-time jobs.

Although the labour market in gambling companies accounts for only 4% of the total labour market of Malta, it must be seen that the gross value added In this sector is significantly higher than in other sectors. The Gaming Authority of Malta has therefore launched a survey among the gambling providers and asked the reasons for the vacancies.

In which areas are labour force sought?
It was found that the vacant positions can be divided into 6 categories:
  1. Game development and operation
  2. Data analysis
  3. Marketing
  4. Legal and risk and compliance assessment Management
  5. Technology
  6. Finance, payments and human resources
In the field of game development and operation, 269 posts are vacant. That is 35% of the unoccupied jobs. 183 jobs (23%) were not filled in Marketing. In addition, 135 iGaming technology positions were missing (17%). In the area of law and risk assessment, 84 posts were open. 67 employees were absent in the financial sector and the human resources department, while only 43 were not employed in data analysis.

Reasons for the Vacancies
In the area of Marketing and technology, it was noted that demand in other sectors is also immense. A common Problem is finding programmers and designers on the island. Gambling companies were asked about the reasons for the vacancies.

7% of providers have indicated that the interest in working in the gambling sector is too low. Otherwise, the competitive pressure among firms looking for a labour force is very strong. About 23% saw it as a reason for the Vacancies. Otherwise, there is also a lack of experience (33%) among the workforce, or lack of qualifications among the applicants. In this area, there are not only lack of programming skills but also lack of foreign language skills.

Only 11% of the firms have indicated that the unoccupied posts represent only a small Problem for them. Only 2% had indicated that it is a Problem to interest workers from abroad.

What qualifications are really missing?
In the report itself, different skills are broken down for the different fields of work, which are important for the respective occupations. The Gaming Authority concludes that 67% of the jobs could actually be occupied by people coming directly from school if they are incorporated. Apart from the lack of Know-how in terms of programming, language problems are a main reason for vacancies.

What methods are used to find new players?
They had also tried to find out how gambling providers found new employees. Most (37%) had previously worked in the industry and were recruited. Around 24% are recruited from abroad and migrate to Malta. Another 24% is recruited from other industries in Malta. Only 11% of newly recruited staff come directly from the University. From the school or College come even only 4%.

What training measures do iGaming companies offer?
Further training is an important part of the working life of some sectors. In the iGaming sector, 55% of companies offer In-house Training. 21% of companies even train some of their employees abroad. In particular, technical training is usually carried out in the UK or Sweden.

Conclusion: No TOP without a qualified staff
The report makes it clear that the gambling sector in Malta needs qualified professionals. It is argued that firms should work better with the University of Malta, the Malta College for Arts, the science and Technology (MCAST) and the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) to address the shortage of skilled labour. I had already reported in May 2018 that gambling companies are looking for employees.

Ultimately, the shortage of skilled staff is also a Problem for the players. The German Support is sometimes not reachable, identity checks need to be longer (sometimes it is also due to other reasons), the games are not maintained well, the list could go on and on. If Malta wants to continue to grow in terms of iGaming, there is therefore a need for some improvement in the staff situation. Perhaps this survey and analysis is a first step to understand and then tackle a major Problem.
 

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