Consultancy firms are local companies that offer a bundle of services to the gaming companies. They are made up of professional people including solicitors. As part of their bundle of corporate services, they offer the service of a key official, to companies that would like to move to Malta. There are companies licensed in Malta, which have no physical presence in Malta.
There are a number of consulting companies, estimated to be around forty or fifty, which actively work to solicit internationally for gaming companies to come to Malta, because it is in their best interest for them to do so. Companies which offer a business-to-business service to other gaming companies, have experienced, that gaming companies, are choosing Malta as their destination, before they even look at their prospective platform providers. This is due to the particular network of these consulting companies, which are acting as ambassadors to attract businesses to Malta, because it is their business to do so. Other Jurisdictions like Gibraltar, Alderney and the UK do not have this network. This is a big part of the reason, why Malta has taken off as a popular Jurisdiction.
The consulting companies are present at the major fairs that are relevant to gaming companies. One of the major fairs, specifically for Business to Business in gaming is the ICE Totally Gaming, which is held in London, England, annually. Here the presence of the consulting companies is present, together with that of the LGA, who all try to solicit business to Malta.
The consulting companies offer the complete package of services. They offer to set up operations in a location, rent the necessary office space, get all the necessary permits, open the required bank accounts, take care of the back office, and a host of other services. This makes them an attractive option to gaming companies, as they would not have to worry about the technicalities but will have everything taken care of, by professional people.
Most of the gaming companies start their operations in Malta at Portomaso Business Tower. One particular participant feels that this is not a coincidence, but as a result of the interests by the consulting companies. Portomaso Business Tower is one of the more expensive office rent, and thus the lower cost is not the attractive factor. On the other hand, when compared with foreign office space, the rent is relatively cheap. There is also the aspect of familiarity.
St. Julian’s is one of the main towns in Malta, and it has a familiarity aspect. The fact that Portomaso Business Tower is one of the most “famous” buildings in Malta, and it is portrayed as high class, it looks good in the address of the company. The fact that many companies, actually move away from Portomaso Business Tower, after the first year or so, gives credibility to this idea. On the other hand, although in the minority, there have been companies, which started their operations at other locations, and then moved to Portomaso Business Tower and remained there.
Source: M. Azzopardi: A Study of Locality Choices by ICT and I-Gaming Companies in Malta, 2012.