A proposed bill to amend the Isle of Man’s existing casino regulations made important progress earlier this week, local media reported.
It became known earlier this year that the local government intended to update brick-and-mortar casino laws to address money laundering concerns. In addition, it would also seek after simpler and more effective licensing rules, particularly ones related to casinos moving premises.
Earlier this week, members of the Isle of Man’s House of Keys gave the nod to the proposed Casino Amendment Bill, after it had been considered at a second reading.
Located in the Irish Sea, not far from England and Ireland, the Isle of Man is a self-governing Crown Dependency. Its original Casino Act was implemented more than three decades ago and allowed for the construction of up to two casinos. There is a single operational casino on the Isle of Man at present – the Douglas-based Western Palace Hotel & Casino.
Under the Casino Amendment Bill, existing gambling venues will be able to move premises without losing their licenses. The original Casino Act bans a casino from transferring its existing license to another site. What is more, a single license cannot cover multiple sites.
Another important amendment to the current law will give the Council of Ministers the authority to determine whether a casino concessionaire must provide a deposit before a tender for casino bids is opened. Currently, a concessionaire is required to make a 20% deposit of the total estimated cost of the casino.
As mentioned above, Isle of Man lawmakers have also proposed the implementation of stricter anti-money laundering measures as well as ones for combating financing of terrorism. Under the bill, the local Gambling Supervision Commission will be vested with the responsible task to watch out for any violations of the new measures. The independent board will also be able to cancel a casino license, if it recognizes any violations of law.
In the context of gambling, the Isle of Man is known for being one of the first jurisdictions to have recognized the importance of specific licensing system for the provision of online gambling services. It was in 2001 when its government introduced regulations specifically crafted to the needs of the then young and immature iGaming industry.
Today, some major online gambling companies hold licenses from the Gambling Supervision Commission. The Isle of Man has turned into a popular licensing hub due to its industry-friendly fees. For the purpose of clarity, holders of a full license from the local regulator are required to pay an annual 1.5% tax on gross gaming yield of under £20 million, a 0.5% one on GGY of between £20 million and £40 million, and a 0.1% one on GGY of over £40 million.