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Licensing in the Isle of Man

Situated in the Irish Sea, somewhere between Ireland and Great Britain, is the Isle of Man – an autonomous British Crown dependency. Like other destinations worldwide, the Isle of Man offers tourists who wish to explore the Island an abundance of activities and unique places to visit. Unlike other jurisdictions, however, the Isle of Man is also home to many companies of the gaming industry—welcoming software developers from all over the world—thus making the Isle of Man a prime destination for those wanting to acquire a gaming license.

One of the prominent advantages the Isle of Man has for business owners, seeking to legalize their business, is that legislation concerning the gaming industry is highly favorable: not only do crypto-currency and skins betting bills are executed regularly and player protection is guaranteed, but, also, the Isle of Man further license betting products that rely on blockchain technology.

In order to make matters even more advantageous—for new as well as for more proficient gaming business owners—the government offers financial support and assistance. First, the initial operating costs are exceptionally low. Second, taxation on Retained Profit and Net Gaming Yield is fairly low and with no hidden costs. Since the Island enjoys cooperative relationships with the United Kingdom, all of the e-gaming activities of its operators remain within the VAT, therefore maintaining affordable and competitive operating costs. Thirdly, EU Member States are eligible for Double Duty Relief. Finally, along with its superb tax package and a particularly rapid licensing process, the government also provides various grants, loans and equity investments to gaming business owners who operate their business from the Isle of Man.

Advantages of Licensing in the Isle of Man

Essentially, there are two main and significant advantages for licensing your business in the Isle of Man. First, it is with good reasons that legislation in the Isle of Man is often referred to as cutting-edge, continually breaking new grounds and ever-developing. Amongst the more conspicuous examples for the Island’s legislative innovativeness one can find the initiation to apply the AML and Proceeds of Crime act to digital currency; the pioneering issuance of a license to the first blockchain-based raffle; regulation concerning digital currencies and virtual goods, enabling them to be deposited, withdrawn and gambled; and, being the first to publicly advocate for the E-Sports Integrity Coalition (ESIC).

A second significant advantage is that whether you start your business or merely relocate it, the Isle of Man is affluent with highly skillful service providers. Since the gaming industry is highly competitive and ever-developing—influenced by latest and trendiest technological innovations—one should receive all the help and support throughout the business’ first, and most critical, years. The Island’s proficient experts will give you all the assistance, support, and knowledge you will need in order to promote and sustain your business.

Licensing: Structure and Application Process

The Isle of Man’s Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) issues one type of three-levels gaming license that includes all gaming activities. The first level is a Network Services License, followed by a Full License and, finally, a Sub-License.

The application process itself is speedy and efficient – decision is administered within 12 weeks after the submission of the application. Note that it is possible to engage in business activities that are related to your business—such as marketing, disaster recovery, etc.—throughout this waiting period.

While the application process is straightforward and rapid, a business owner wishing to apply for a gaming license must meet several specific requirements. The company must have two locally-registered directors, and it has to be incorporated in the Isle of Man. In addition, the company must have a resident Operations manager – yet it is possible that one of the resident Directors will serve as both director and Operations manager. Vets must be provided for all company directors, Money Laundry Officers and beneficial owners holding to 5% or more of the company. The company’s servers, as well as player registration, must be hosted in the Isle of Man. And, finally, the company must protect player funds at all times and carry an approved test house to all of its gaming systems, games and RNGs. Once these terms are met and the application form is filled, an application fee of 5,000 Euros is to be paid in order to finalize the application process.

Home to a variety of e-gaming businesses, the Isle of Man—with its strong IT infrastructure, innovative legislation and favoring taxation policy—is unquestionably the place for licensing your e-gaming business!