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Isle of Man Gaming License

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The Isle of Man stands as a reputable hub for gaming industry. For those seeking to regulate their gaming business within a European jurisdiction, the Isle of Man emerges as a prime choice. Some of the most distinguished online gaming companies have chosen to be licensed in this jurisdiction.

The Isle of Man Government is proactively fostering the growth of the gambling and e-gaming industry within its jurisdiction, particularly by offering an extensive array of appealing business advantages. The regulatory authority overseeing gaming activities in the Isle of Man is the Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC), renowned for its commitment to player protection. Licensees in the Isle of Man receive comprehensive assistance, facilitating seamless adherence to the authority's regulations.

A distinctive feature of the Isle of Man gaming license is its five-year validity. GSC could revoke the license if any violations of the terms occur.

Advantages of an Isle of Man Gaming License

1. Reputation and Trustworthiness

The Isle of Man has a long history of making sure its license holders follow strict rules and supervision. It's known as one of the best and most reliable places to get a license for online gambling. Over time, it has proven to keep players' money and personal info safe, creating a secure and trustworthy space for everyone involved. The Isle of Man holds the status of a World Trade Organisation member state and is recognized on the whitelists of both the OECD and the UK Gambling Commission.

2. Variety of Markets

There is no blacklist of countries where businesses with Isle of Man gambling license cannot provide their services. However, licensees should refrain from entering markets where gambling is explicitly prohibited, as well as from operating in regulated markets without strict adherence to local laws.

3. Variety of Currencies

Every Isle of Man gambling license allows to use all digital assets and currencies, encompassing cryptocurrencies.

4. Straightforward Application Process

The process of obtaining gaming license in the Isle of Man is renowned for its efficiency and transparency. The GSC is dedicated to maintaining a fair, unbiased, and streamlined licensing procedure, providing clear guidelines and requirements. Licensees in the Isle of Man can commence their operations promptly and with confidence

5. Diverse array of license types

The Isle of Man provides a diverse array of license types tailored to cater to the requirements of various gambling operators, including online gambling licenses for casino, sports betting, and poker operators, online gambling software supplier licenses, and hosting service provider licenses.

6. Outstanding Infrastructure and Availability of Highly Skilled Workforce

The Isle of Man stands out for its outstanding infrastructure, encompassing everything from telecommunications and IT to hosting and internet speed. Diverse payment and banking options are available here. The Isle of Man also offers comprehensive company administration services, marketing support, and various other professional services. The workforce in the Isle of Man is highly skilled, fluent in English, and specialized in industry practices.

Types of Isle of Man Gaming Licenses

Getting a gaming license in the Isle of Man is straightforward. Each license covers all kinds of gambling activities. Businesses choose an Isle of Man gambling license based on how they do business – whether it's dealing directly with consumers (B2C) or with other businesses (B2B). The Isle of Man gaming license is flexible, suitable for companies with their own gaming content or those focused on managing player databases.

1. Full Isle of Man Gambling License

The full Isle of Man gambling license cost – £36,750 annually. The license is valid for a five-year period. Beyond network services and token-based supply, the full Isle of Man gambling license allows engagement in a wide range of gambling activities, encompassing software supply. It is accompanied by a set of conditions and other requisites, the majority of which are standard, while some may be tailored to your specific operational structure.

Companies holding a full Isle of Man gambling license have the opportunity to extend their technology offerings (such as games, software, and network access) to sub-licensees through the cost-effective sub-licence scheme. The full license encompasses all aspects of a business at the license-holder level and below.

2. Sub-License

A sub-license is available for those wanting to exclusively operate with a technology provider holding a full license. To obtain this sub-license, applicants need to submit an application to the GSC and incur an annual cost of £5,250.

The sub-license can be beneficial for smaller operators aiming to establish and expand their presence, as well as for companies with assets to monetize (such as a player database) but without an established gaming infrastructure.

3. Networking Services License

To facilitate the inclusion of one or more foreign registered players on its Isle of Man server without requiring re-registration of player details, operators must secure a network services license. Holders of a network services license enjoy all the benefits associated with a full license. For instance, they can directly offer games to the global market, provide sub-licensing opportunities for business partners, and extend their networks to foreign operators. Acquiring a network services license costs £52,500 annually.

4. B2B Software Supplier License

B2B Software supplier license is not mandatory for offering software to Isle of Man licensees. However, the license adds to the esteemed reputation within the Isle of Man business network.

Two distinct categories of the software supplier license exist: one tailored for standard fiat platform providers and another specifically for blockchain-based software providers.

Isle of Man gambling license: Types of gambling

As per regulations, the following types of online gambling activities require the license:

It's essential to note that the GSC remains open to considering proposals that may not seem to align with the categories specified. Getting a gambling license could be not necessary for certain well-established activities, even if they're related to telecommunications and gambling, in particular: offering pure freeplay games, provision of IT which just presents the results of play.

InteliumLaw's Isle of Man Gaming License Services

As a law firm specializing in gaming law, we can offer a range of services related to acquiring and managing an Isle of Man gambling license. Here are key services:

Isle of Man gambling license costs

Starting from 6 of July 2023, the following fees apply:

Isle of Man gambling license requirements

To obtain gaming license in the Isle of Man, operators must satisfy the following criteria:

It's essential to note that the Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) has the authority to decline applicants that seem to establish a nominal presence in the Isle of Man, ensuring a commitment to genuine and substantive operations within the jurisdiction.

Isle of Man Gaming License Application Process

1. Eligibility Assessment and Initial Advice

The first step involves assessing whether your business meets the basic eligibility criteria for obtaining a gambling license in the Isle of Man.

2. Gathering Necessary Documentation

Applicants need to prepare and gather various documents, including personal identification, proof of funds, business plans, and details of the gambling operations. This documentation will be used to assess the applicant's suitability and preparedness for running a gambling operation.

3. Company creation

If you don’t have a company, you will need to incorporate one in the Isle of Man.

4. Application Submission

The next step is to formally submit the application along with all the required documentation to the GSC, and to pay the application fee (which is £5,250). This submission includes details about the company, its owners, and its operational plans.

5. Application Checking Process

After receiving the application form and statutory application fee, the license is processed within 10-12 weeks. The application checking process inter alia includes due diligence on persons connected with the application, due diligence on companies connected with the application, analysis of financial accounts, analysis of ownership, analysis of terms and conditions, analysis of game rules, analysis of internal controls and systems, analysis of technical checks on games offered, analysis of the business model.

6. License Approval and Issuance

Once the authorities are satisfied with the results of the application checking process, the license is issued.

Taxes and fees for a Gaming License in the Isle of Man

Isle of Man is well-known for having low taxes. The gaming tax is notably low, ranging from 0.1% to 1.5% on Gross Gaming Yield. For annual incomes below £20 million, the income tax is set at 1.5%, for incomes falling within the £20-40 million bracket, it reduces to 0.5%, and for incomes surpassing £40 million annually, the income tax stands at a minimal 0.1%.

There's no capital gains tax, wealth tax, or inheritance tax. Online gambling activity is exempt from VAT.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance

The primary legal framework guiding the online gambling sector is the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001 (“OGRA”). Additionally, online gambling businesses must adhere to the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) legislation. The GSC diligently oversees compliance with AML/CFT regulations in the Isle of Man gambling industry. Actively involved in national initiatives, the GSC evaluates potential risks linked to money laundering and terrorist financing within gambling activities. Furthermore, it contributes to assessing the Isle of Man's AML/CFT performance against global standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The key legislative cornerstone in this area is the Gambling (Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism) Act 2018, covering essential aspects such as customer due diligence (CDD) and know-your-customer (KYC) procedures, along with reporting suspicious transactions.

Looking beyond AML/CFT considerations, the relevance of additional legislation depends on the specific business activities under consideration.

Additional Services

FAQ

How do you get a gambling license on the Isle of Man?

To obtain the Isle of Man gambling license, operators must satisfy the following criteria:

  • A company must be registered in the Isle of Man.
  • Minimum 2 local directors (individuals) must be appointed.
  • Minimum 1 resident Designated Official (DO), an Operations Manager (OM) must be appointed.
  • Players must be registered either on the Isle of Man or an operator must operate under a network services licence which obliges it to establish the network services in the Isle of Man (except in the case of software supply only licenses where no play must take place on the Isle of Man servers).
  • Gambling and trading accounts should be opened with a bank in the Isle of Man unless an alternative arrangement is agreed upon.

Why do companies register in Isle of Man?

Registering a company in the Isle of Man is one of the requirements that should be met to obtain the Isle of Man gambling license.

How long does it typically take to secure an Isle of Man Gaming License?

Depending on the circumstances, a license application is processed within 10-12 weeks. Additional time is needed for the preparing the application and all required documents.

Can foreign companies apply for an Isle of Man Gaming License?

To obtain the Isle of Man gambling license, operators must register a company in the Isle of Man.

Are there any restrictions on the types of games that can be offered with this license?

Each license covers all kinds of gambling activities specified in the regulation. Businesses choose a license based on how they do business—whether it's dealing directly with consumers (B2C) or with other businesses (B2B).

What happens if my Isle of Man Gaming License application is denied?

If your Isle of Man Gaming gambling license application encounters a denial, InteliumLaw stands ready to guide you through the next steps. We conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the reasons behind the license denial. Based on the denial evaluation, our legal experts collaborate with you to strategically adjust and enhance your application. In cases where denial is based on grounds that can be challenged or clarified, InteliumLaw assists in exploring appeal and redress options.

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