The Isle of Man has stated that changes to UK gambling laws should not be seen as a threat to the island. John Penrose, the UK minister for tourism and heritage, revealed the plans late last week that will see companies having to obtain a UK Gambling Commission license to operate. Thankfully for them, the Isle of Man is one of the territories on the UK’s “white list” therefore meaning that they’ll enjoy a “lighter touch”.
Economic Development Minister Allan Bell MHK said, “It is encouraging to see that Isle of Man-based companies will have a much lighter touch approach and have been ensured continuity of business.”
On the subject of why the regulations were being brought in, Garth Kimber, head of eGaming development at the Department of Economic Developments, said it had nothing to do with Black Friday, adding, “This was raised long before. What set it off was the level of problem gambling. They found a lot of sites were on jurisdictions which were not white-listed. This is not an attack on us.”
It came after one of the sites operating on the island, PokerStars, were one of the three companies indicted by the FBI.
Bell also added that, “In my recent conversation with Minister Penrose I received assurances that the UK Gambling Commission has no wish to duplicate the work that our Gambling Commission does in regulating our operators.
“It has been clear from my representations on behalf of Isle of Man operators that these provisions are a direct recognition of the confidence the UK has in our high standards of regulation and consumer protection.”
The Isle of Man’s blow may come by the reduced revenue that occurs if British players start to pay duty in the UK.