The Isle of Man is proposing changes to its structures and regulations in various sectors, including the gaming industry, and this has resulted in the island experiencing a surge in demand from gaming firms all over the world. Over the last year alone, the Isle of Man witnessed an increase in interest from online gaming operators who wish to relocate to the Crown dependency.
The island is also welcoming more businesses in its fold. In 2020, the Isle of Man issued a total of 21 operating licenses. In contrast, only 8 businesses were licensed in 2019. The Gambling Supervision Commission oversees 55 gaming operators at the moment, with many more licenses in the works.
This rise in interest can be attributed partially to the competent way in which the island handled the Covid-19 pandemic, spurred on by recent regulatory changes. The Isle also has a new software supplier, a magnet to those in search of strong regulation on player protection. This has led to service providers on the island reporting a swell in companies who want to move their operations to the Isle.
Chief Executive of the Gambling Supervision Commission Steve Brennan said, “We are exceptionally busy at the minute processing a significant rise in the number of applications for online gambling operators. We continued to work throughout lockdown, and over the last 10 months, we have received or completed a considerable number of applications. By the time we have closed those out and added recent applications, we will have 60 licenses to supervise.” This means a whopping 30% increase for the Commission.
Asked why operators are moving to the Isle of Man, director of Amber Gaming Jade Zorab commented, “The Isle of Man has proven to be at the forefront of the more notable gaming jurisdictions over the years. It has a combination of a stable political and economic environment, low tax, and advanced IT infrastructure in addition to a cluster of experienced and reliable professional organizations – all of which has created a compelling proposition for egaming companies both locally and further afield.
“The island also offers a flexible licensing regime with a pragmatic and efficient regulator, which is especially valuable during a time where there are so much global uncertainty and regulatory changes in several other jurisdictions which brings the prospect of significant operational challenges.
“Given the Island’s strong reputation and open and innovative approach in the evolving gaming landscape, the future outlook is positive, and it is no surprise that the Isle of Man is experiencing an influx of egaming ventures, which we are proud to support.”
The Isle of Man’s praises continued to be sung by Lyle Wraxall, Chief Executive at Digital Isle of Man, who said, “A key strength of the Isle of Man is its commitment to the development and continued success of the egaming companies domiciled here. Digital Isle of Man supports this by striving to build and maintain solid foundations for our island businesses to flourish, offering quick-fire advice, and tackling obstacles to ease business decisions and burdens along the way.
“We have strong heritage and credentials in the egaming sector and are renowned for our premium regulation which is becoming more and more important to businesses. As businesses licensed elsewhere seek security and continued business growth, the experience and expertise based in the Isle of Man is the logical next step for businesses to mature and grow.”
He concluded by saying that the Isle of Man has shown itself to be a stable environment for companies to prosper, not to mention that the jurisdiction also offers a safe economy with no market restraints.