The Isle of Man could change gaming industry laws to allow live poker tournaments to be held on the island. Iomtoday reports proposed gaming legislation would see poker events commonplace on the island and it follows huge interest in the license to operate the territory’s second casino business. Economic Development Minister John Shimmin said: “The department has identified an opportunity to be able to attract live gaming tournaments to the island with all of the associated economic benefits they will bring in terms of increased bed nights, spending in the local economy and increased passenger numbers on aircraft serving the island.”
Under the new law, any casino licence holder could apply to run an event at a venue elsewhere on the island. With there being one licence holder at present only the Palace Hotel in the capital Douglas can host tournaments on the island. Shimmin explained further how the amendment would apply, adding: “At present the law restricts which venues can be used for such events. The proposed Casino (Amendment) Bill would give the Gambling Supervision Commission the power to grant temporary licences for these events at a wider range of venues.”
Shimmin has already discussed it with the Palace Hotel and added: “The hotel would itself benefit indirectly by offering accommodation, cash games and so on. This new line of business would of course be regulated to a high standard to protect both the reputation of the Isle of Man and the players.”
It’s unclear whether the Isle of Man would hold the same luster that some of the Caribbean venues do when it comes to live tournaments and in that sense it remains to be seen if the 800 players quoted would be attracted to tournaments. The gaming industry is never afraid to try something new though and it’s likely at least one poker tour would try out the IoM given its proximity to the UK.