The gambling industry in the Isle of Man is subject to a set of regulations imposed by the Gambling Supervision Commission that concern, but are not limited to, licensing and control. Ensuring that the services are fair and that the players receive their true winnings is a core principle in the Isle of Man, and so is keeping the gambling industry crime free.
Investors who wish to open an online gambling company or a land-based gambling service need to comply with the rules in force to obtain a gaming license in the Isle of Man.
In this article, our team highlights some of the top issues related to regulation and licensing as well as the main legislative framework for this field. Investors who are interested in Isle of Man company formation can reach out to us for more information, assistance for applying for a license as well as general company registration aid.
Table of Contents
Who can obtain a gaming license in the Isle of Man?
The Gambling Supervision Commission can grant a license for online gambling or for gaming to companies limited by shares incorporated in the Island. A distinction is made between online gambling and gaming, where the first is the act of setting up online games by means of telecommunication (lottery, bets, etc.) and the latter concerns controlled machines that allows players to win prizes.
For the purpose of gaming, controlled machines are to be kept for use solely in certain types of premises, such as casinos. The Gaming Board is allowed to issue a certification of the premises and it can be a full certificate or a restricted one (only applicable when the premises is a hotel or guest-house, a public house or a location mainly used for the supply of refreshment, with a certain capacity).
The Gaming Board maintains a register of controlled machines that are kept for use on all premises and for which proper certificates have been issued. The sale or supply of controlled machines for gaming is not possible in the Isle of Man unless this is accomplished by a holder of a license issued for this purpose or when the seller/supplier acts as the agent of a licensed holder.
The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission will only grant an online gambling license to a company if that company is controlled by a person or persons of integrity and the company’s activities are managed by a person of integrity and competence. Before this license is granted, the Commissioners consult the Treasury, the Department of Economic Development, the Financial Supervision Commission and other authorities, as needed. The Commissioners are not required to provide the reason for refusing to grant a license.
What are the conditions for holding the license?
Certain types of gaming are prohibited, thus licenses will not be issued for the following:
- Games against banks: the game involved playing against a bank, whether the said bank is held by one or the players or not;
- The chances are not equal: the nature of the game is as such it does not provide equal chances to all of the players;
- The chances are ill-distributed: the nature of the game favors one player over the other/others (the chances are not as favorable to one player as to another);
- Levy on stakes or winnings: gaming cannot take place when a levy is charged on any of the stakes or the winnings of the players by way of direct payment or deduction or by any other means.
For online gambling license holders, the conditions of holding a license include the following:
- the holder is to maintain deposits and reserved for the payment of debt that may arise from the online gambling activities;
- to notify the Commissioners if it calls upon the said deposits or reserved.
An online gambling license is valid for 5 years.
Our Isle of Man company formation agents can provide more details on the restrictions on gamins as well as the conditions for obtaining and holding the license (including the steps for renewal).
If you want to start a business and are first interested in the Isle of Man residency requirements, we can help answer your questions.
What the some of the fees associated with gambling licenses in the Isle of Man?
Entrepreneurs who wish to obtain a gambling license in the Isle of Man for online gambling need to be mindful of the applicable fees for this document. Our Isle of Man company formation agents list these below:
- £1,000: the application fee that is payable to the Treasury for the granting of a license;
- £5,000: the license fee for a sub-license, one that allows the holder to conduct activities other than those included in the full license;
- £35,000: the license fee for the full license, which allows the holder to engage in activities under the Online Gambling Regulations 2009.
Please keep in mind that these fees imposed by the Gambling Supervision Commission can be subject to change. It is always advisable to reach out to our agents for complete information as well as updated details for certain license types.
Contact our Isle of Man company registration specialists for more information on the gaming and the gambling license as well as how to open a company that provides these types of services.