As a British Crown Dependency located between mainland Britain and the island of Ireland, The Isle of Man is a renowned global centre for both the iGaming industry and that of emerging technology such as Blockchain. The Isle has its own parliament and regulatory bodies with the economy being extremely business-friendly and legally progressive.
The gaming industry in the Isle of Man increased by 300% between 2006 and 2011 and has become one of the largest sectors of the Isle. Due to its regulatory flexibility, the Isle of Man offers a number of attractive incentives for firms to relocate there. These include VAT exemptions, a 0% corporate tax, and a low tax on the revenue streams of firms located within the isle’s territory. The Isle of Man is also pushing forward initiatives to become one of the most prominent pro-blockchain jurisdictions. This can mainly be seen in the Department of Economic Development announcing the creation of a framework that can safely regulate digital currencies and promote business opportunities.
The Isle’s gambling body, the Gambling Supervision Commission, was established in 1962 and was originally tasked with the regulation of land-based operations. With the rapid growth of the online gambling sector, the Commission has also been tasked with the regulation of digital operations as well as land-based. The Commission was one of the first regulators of the iGaming market through the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001 which sought to protect players while supporting online operators and ensuring a business-friendly environment. The jurisdiction is highly regarded as one of the most well-established global regimes and has excellent infrastructure, both legal and digital, in place to allow for iGaming firms to find all that they may need for a prosperous future in the global market. The jurisdiction is also regularly used for Asian-facing gambling operations The Isle of Man is also white-listed by the UK Gambling Commission. This allows the Isle’s licensees to advertise in the UK. The jurisdiction also possesses an AA+ Standard & Poor’s rating and both the legal system and its legislative protocols are based on principles originating from the United Kingdom.
Over the years, the licensing regime of the Isle of Man has gained international acclaim for balancing the priorities of customers, firms, and the rule of law of the island. The Commission, through the Isle of Man Financial Services Commission, has a signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Malta Financial Services Authority signed in 2004. This includes a framework of mutual assistance and the facilitation of “the exchange of information between the Authorities to enforce or secure compliance with any laws or regulations of their respective jurisdictions.” The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission and the Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority entered into an agreement in September 2012, which built on this framework of cooperation and information sharing between the two jurisdictions. The main aim of this partnership was to improve the regulatory standards with the ultimate goal of enhancing the measures in place to protect consumers.
As both a Maltese-born firm and a global advocate of responsible iGaming internationally, SiGMA has collaborated with both the Isle of Man’s public sector aswell as its private. The Isle regularly sends delegations to SiGMA conferences every year with a physical presence usually reserved for the delegations on the expo floor itself. The Digital Isle of Man team has been a regular visitor to SiGMA Europe’s summit each and every year with positive feedback and lucrative business opportunities making the two natural partners in the ever-evolving iGaming industry. Following the COVID-19 Pandemic’s restriction of physical events, the delegation sent by the Isle of Man team returned from Malta Week 2021 with a glowing report of the first physical event since the outbreak began.
“It was really positive to be back at a conference/ event after such a long gap, and it was evident by the volume of attendees and the exhibitors that everyone was glad to be back at events and the turnout was greater than anticipated. Being at the event was a reminder of how important meeting people face to face is, and the value events hold in relation to business development. It was great to see the growth of the AIBC (blockchain) element of the conference which this year had a larger presence and a separate conference space at the event.” Amy Kneale, Strategic Partnership Manager at Digital Isle of Man.
“My experience of SiGMA 2021 was fulfilling. The trip demonstrated the value of how meeting face to face has a promising impact on developing relationships. It was immensely satisfying to catch up with some familiar faces and develop contacts with new businesses within the eGaming and blockchain sectors, relationships that present great opportunities for our economy.” Nathan Lunt Strategic Partnership Executive at Digital Isle of Man
“The team was very busy in the five days we were in Malta, as many meetings were arranged in advance once Malta businesses knew we were attending. It was encouraging to see a great demand for the Isle of Man gambling licence. Many Isle of Man companies were also in attendance at SiGMA including Amber Gaming, Affinity Group, MannBenham Advocates, Domicilium, Continent 8, and Microgaming.” Tony Ure, Head of eGaming at Digital Isle of Man.