Malta’s on­line gam­bling op­er­a­tors can’t find enough qual­i­fied staff

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

Malta-li­censed on­line gam­bling op­er­a­tors had nearly 800 un­filled po­si­tions at the end of last year, pri­mar­ily due to a lack of qual­i­fied ap­pli­cants.

Last week, the Malta Gam­ing Au­thor­ity pub­lished a re­port ti­tled Skills Gaps Af­fect­ing the Re­mote Gam­ing In­dus­try in Malta, fol­low­ing a sur­vey con­ducted with on­line li­censees in the first quar­ter of 2018.

The MGA said its on­line li­censees di­rectly em­ployed 5,861 full-time staff at the end of 2017, a 10% rise from 2016. But on­line op­er­a­tors re­ported 781 un­filled po­si­tions, mostly in game op­er­a­tion and de­vel­op­ment (269), fol­lowed by mar­ket­ing (183), tech­nol­ogy (135), le­gal/com­pli­ance/risk/fraud (84), fi­nance/pay­ment/HR (67) and data and anal­y­sis (43).

Of these un­filled po­si­tions, 58 of them were in top man­age­ment, 201 in mid­dle man­age­ment and 522 at the op­er­a­tional level. A “sub­stan­tial” num­ber of “mi­cro” firms (10 em­ploy­ees or less) had va­can­cies in top man­age­ment posts.

Nearly three-quar­ters (72%) of on­line op­er­a­tors’ staff was non-Mal­tese, up four points from 2016, and the share of non-Mal­tese em­ploy­ees in­creases with a po­si­tion’s re­quired skill level. The MGA sug­gests that the fact that most of the un­filled po­si­tions are at the op­er­a­tional level of­fers an op­por­tu­nity for the lo­cal ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem to teach the skills needed to fill these roles.

Po­si­tions largely go un­filled be­cause of a lack of ex­pe­ri­enced ap­pli­cants (33%), fol­lowed by those lack­ing the nec­es­sary qual­i­fi­ca­tions (24%). The next high­est cat­e­gory was com­pe­ti­tion from other re­mote gam­bling op­er­a­tors (23%). Over the past few years, Mal­tese op­er­a­tors said 37% of their new hires had joined af­ter leav­ing a ri­val firm.

Around one-quar­ter of all re­mote gam­bling hir­ing last year in­volved in­di­vid­u­als re­cruited from out­side Malta, and these hires are pri­mar­ily done by “medium” (be­tween 50-249 em­ploy­ees) and “large” firms (over 250 em­ploy­ees).

In a bid to boost the lo­cal share of re­mote gam­bling new hires, the Euro­pean Gam­ing In­sti­tute of Malta was launched in Novem­ber 2017 with the aim of in­creas­ing the lo­cal tal­ent pool and cre­at­ing more long-term ca­reers for stu­dents. The EGIM be­gan of­fer­ing ed­u­ca­tional pro­grammes last month.

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