• Isle of Man Licensing

Isle of Man Gambling License Empire

Isle of Man (IOM) is legally recorded as a self governing Crown dependency. It is located midway between Ireland and United Kingdom and is famous for its rich historical heritage with castles and monuments scattered across the island. The Island boasts of a very high standard of living with an equally high Per Capita income.

The Island is famous as a low tax economy with zero capital gains tax, wealth tax, stamp duty, or inheritance tax. The Maximum amount of income tax for an individual is also capped at £120,000 for a single person or £240,000 if a couple is assessed together. The island is extremely favourable for business as it has 0% Corporate Income Tax. It is considered as a banking and financial services hub with tourism also making a significant contribution to the economy.

IOM Gaming License

An Isle of Man Gaming License, both for online gaming and offline gambling is issued by the Gambling Supervision Commission. The Gambling Supervision Commission was established through the Gambling Supervision Act, 2010. It is the sole authority which is permitted to issue the licenses and it works in close cooperation with other Governmental agencies. The online Gaming entire sector on the other hand is covered by The Online Gaming Regulation Act, 2001 which has subsequently been edited multiple times to keep it in sync with modern times and promote online gaming.

Types of IOM Online Gaming Licenses

Isle of Man Online Gaming Licenses are normally divided into four groups

(a) The OGRA License
(b) Sub- Licenses
(c) Network Services License
(d) Licenses for Economic and Political DR.

Out of these forms, the OGRA License, Sub- Licenses and Network Services License are normally the most relevant. Empire  has special expertise in application for these licenses. All Licenses and Sub-licenses have an application Fee of £ 5,000 in addition to the annual fee/ taxes.

The OGRA License

The OGRA License is the single most preferred license for online gaming activities in Isle of Man as it allows the conduct of almost all forms of games. A common list of games provided is:

  • Sportsbooks
  • Betting exchanges
  • Online casino games (roulette, blackjack, slots, etc)
  • Live dealing
  • Peer to peer games (poker, bingo, backgammon, Mah-jong, etc)
  • Mobile phone betting
  • Fantasy football (or similar)
  • Financial trading (but not spread betting)
  • Pari-mutuel and pool betting
  • Network gaming
  • Selected forms of Lotteries
  • Certain spot-the-ball style games

An OGRA License holder is also allowed to provide services to Sub-License holders. An OGRA License holder has to pay a fee of £ 35,000 per annum and the license is valid for 5 years.

Sub-licenses

Sub-licenses can be applied for by operators who wish to offer the games offered by a full OGRA License holder without making any investment itself. A Sub-license holder is tied to a particular full license holder and must only offer the games of the main licensee. An upgrade to a full license is required if it wishes to offer its own games. A change from one Service provider to another is allowed only under exceptional circumstances or may require a new sub-license. The Fee for a sub-license is £ 5,000 per annum.

Network Services License
A network services license is required for operators who wish to allow gamers registered in foreign jurisdictions to join games in Isle of Man servers without requiring any re-registration. A network Services License holder automatically holds an OGRA License meaning he can host the same games as an OGRA Licensee and also has the same privileges like tying up with sub-licensees. The primary difference which lies here is that a Network Services License holder would also be able to sign agreements with foreign gaming operators who can then send their customers to the Isle of Man licensee without any need for new registration.

The License Fee for a Network Services License is £ 50,000 per annum plus £ 5,000 for every foreign operator who joined it in the past year.

For example in Year 1 a New Network Services License holder (X) starts operations by paying £ 50,000. In that year, it has entered into agreements with two foreign gaming operators for allowing their referrals. Now, in the following year when X seeks to pay its license fee, it has to pay £ 60,000 as it had two foreign operators linking to its network. X however does not need to pay any charges for any domestic sub-license holder linking to its network.

Licenses for Economic and Political DR

A ‘License for Economic and Political DR’ is similar to an OGRA License except that the license holder is not required to start operations in Isle of Man until it desires and hence is not liable to pay any duties. The license holder however needs to inform the Commission before it decides to start operations and the commission will check if any circumstances have changed. The Licenses for Economic and Political DR are also valid for 5 years.

Conditions for a gaming License in Isle of Man

The basic conditions which need to be fulfilled for an Isle of Man Gaming License are:

(a) The Company Must be registered in Isle of Man
(b) The Company must have at least two local directors who are not corporate entities
(c) The Company must have one resident Designated Official (DO). In case the DO does not reside in Isle of Man, there must be an Operations Manager resident in the country.
(d) The severs for player registration must be located in Isle of Man
(e) The bank accounts used for gambling and trading must be located in Isle of Man.

The actual application for any kind of license has to be made to the Gaming Commission with the following details:

  • Application Fee (£ 5,000) and Form
  • Personal Declaration Form containing information from all shareholders of applicant companies holding more than 5% shares, Operations Manager, Directors and Designated Officials
  • One referee for every official/ director with different referee for every official.
  • List of key officials.
  • Business Plan- The business plan normally should contain the rules of the games, financial accounts, ownership, website look and feel, business model and banking arrangements.

After submission of the application, a due diligence check is undertaken involving the following parts of the application- Persons connected, companies connected, financial accounts. Analysis is also made of ownership, terms and conditions, game rules, internal controls, player protection, business model and the games offered. The final check is made on the look and feel of the website and infrastructure.

The applications are normally approved within 3 months. Once approved, the websites can go live after tests conducted by inspectorate. Just before the license is approved, a hearing is conducted where all key officials, operations manager and on island directors have to attend. The operations have to go live within 9 months of the grant of license.

A duty is charged from betting operators at the following rate:

For gross gaming yield less than £20 million per annum1.5%
For gross gaming yield between £20 and 40 million per annum0.5%
For gross gaming yield above 40 million per annum0.1%
For pool betting15%

How to get a gaming license in Isle of Man

The Isle of Man Gaming Licensing framework involves complex legislation and a number of pre application procedures. Keeping in mind this scenario, Empire offers you the fastest and most reliable path to an Isle of Man Gaming License. A renowned Gaming Professional Services & Advisory Firm, it has a team of Gaming experts with years of experience in Isle of Man Gambling Licensing. Depending upon your choice of type of license, the experts at Empire  can guide you with your exact documentary requirements and the nuances of the application. You can reach the Online Gaming License experts at Empire through our website www.empireglobal.partners and or by email at info@empireglobal.partners. We offer clear written contract agreements clearly mentioning the applicable charges including the refund policy, in the unlikely event that the application is unsuccessful.

Official page of the Isle of Man Gambling and E Gaming Commission: Isle of Man Gambling and E Gaming Commission

No designation has been made by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for a Certificate of Special Competence in this area.