Online Gaming in Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is one of the oldest and most respected licensing jurisdictions for online gaming in Europe.

The legislative framework for regulations was set by the Electronic Transactions Act of 2000 and the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001, which legalized online gaming operation in the country. Applications for online gaming licenses were first accepted on the Isle of Man in June 2001. The island is whitelisted by the U.K. and the OECD respectively for iGaming and tax cooperation purposes, which allows Isle of Man licensees to advertise to the U.K. market.

There are three options for iGaming licenses:

Full OGRA license: This requires an initial application fee of GBP 5,000 and an annual fee of GBP 35,000 for a five-year duration period. A full license does not cover gambling activities of a parent or holding company or the operations of sister companies. A full OGRA license is required if any of the following types of online gambling are offered: sportsbooks, betting exchanges, casino games (roulette, blackjack, slots, etc.), live dealing, peer-to-peer games (poker, bingo, backgammon, etc.), mobile phone betting, fantasy football or similar, financial trading (but not spread betting), pari-mutuel and pool betting, network gaming, lotteries, certain spot-the-ball-style games and network services.

Sub-licenses: These licenses require the submission of an application and are designed for operators who enter into a contract with a technology provider that holds a full OGRA license. The costs related to a sub-license are less than those for a full license, but require a nonrefundable GBP 5,000 application fee. Once approved, the license has a five-year term and is subject to a license fee of GBP 5,000 per annum.

Isle of Man network license: This license allows players registered to non-Isle of Man operations to play on an Isle of Man server without re-registering. It requires a GBP 5,000 application fee, GBP 50,000 annual fee, and GBP 5,000 per network partner. This solution offers low-cost duty starting at 1.5% on Gross Gaming Yield (GGY) and no turnover. The duty is only paid on the retained element of GGY in the Isle of Man, not from licensed operators in other countries. The current corporate tax on gaming companies is 0%. The Isle of Man's arrangement with the EU ensures services provided to U.K./EU individuals are VAT exempt, and in most cases customers from outside the EU and B2B partners are 0% rated.

In February 2010, the Isle of Man announced changes to its gambling regulations, now making it legal for iGaming firms to host or carry out their non-gambling-related activities such as marketing, software, skill games and disaster recovery without an Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001 license. Disaster recovery permits immediate switchover for up to 90 days without a license.

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