Isle of Man Gambling Supervision CommissionBy: Rick Balding, Tuesday February 2nd 2010
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The Isle of Man Government actively supports gambling business on the island, particularly online gambling. The regulatory authority is the Gambling Supervision Commission, which operates under the Department of Trade and Industry. The Gambling Supervision Commission is committed to creating a strong regulatory environment with attractive business benefits. Together with the private industry the Commission provides a world class infrastructure and complete support services for the gambling industry. The core principles of the Commission are to keep the gambling industry crime free, to protect the young and those at risk, to ensure that the services offered by license holders are fair and to ensure that players receive their true winnings. The Commission operates under a Director, a Policy Officer, five Gaming Inspectors and two Secretaries, who jointly have over 60 years’ experience in the licensing, regulation and operational aspects of gambling.
The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission was founded in 1962. From 2001 the focus shifted to online gambling with the enactment of the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001. It has not been smooth sailing for the Commission. In 2003 the online gambling market in the Isle of Man crashed and no operator held a license from that jurisdiction. The Gambling Supervision Commission then embarked on a program of restructuring its regulations. One of the steps taken was to reorganize its fee structure to make it affordable for smaller operators. From 2005 Isle of Man does not charge corporate income tax to online gaming operators provided they do not offer services to local residents. The Commission is responsive to the changing needs of the online gaming industry. Since 2007 there have been over ten amendments to the Online Gambling Regulation Act. These cover various aspects of online gaming such as advertising, systems verification, disaster recovery and license fees.
Two areas where the Gambling Supervision Commission is exceedingly strong are player protection and problem gambling. Player protection ensures that the funds that players have with an operator licensed by the Commission are secure and can be enforced by law. Also all operators have to get their software tested by independent and expert testing agencies approved by the Commission for randomness and fairness. These agencies include the likes of eCOGRA and Technical Systems Testing. All aspects of the licensees functioning, including marketing and advertising, are continuously reviewed. As a part of the player protection initiative the Commission has a procedure for addressing complaints against its licensees.
The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission is alert to the issue of problem gambling. It offers a number of free services to players who feel that they are afflicted with problem gambling. A Counseling Service is offered to Isle of Man based individuals and to assist those who are in a critical situation the Commission has constituted a 24hr Crisis Response Team. Players having a gambling debt problem can contact a Debt Councilor. To off-island players the Commission recommends GamCare, the premier problem gambling institution in the United Kingdom.
The licensing fee structure currently being charged by the Commission is as under. A £1,000 administration fee is to be paid with the initial application. The fee for a full license is £35,000 per year and the fee for a sub-license is £5,000 per year. A duty is payable on the gross gaming yield of the operator, which depends on the quantum of the yield.
If you'd like any additional details on and or about the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission we suggest visiting the links below:
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