We need to keep a closer eye on the gaming industry in Malta. It’s looking ever more ominous.

Seven traders were given the sack today by their employer Offsidegaming. In simplistic numeric terms this is smaller than Betsson’s recent cull of a 130 employees. But one event may be a fluke. A second one should start getting our attention. I am reliably informed a third company, GFI, and perhaps others, may be getting ready to let go of more employees.

Here we have a highly-skilled, highly-specialised, highly-paid labour force. A good portion of it is expatriates. All are big spenders.

Simultaneous redundancies can depress salaries, which from some perspectives is not purely bad news. But it is bad news for the obvious ripple benefits that are satellites around gaming: rentals, food and beverage, entertainment and so on.

It is not time to forecast an inevitable crisis. But it may be too late to start being seriously concerned.