Isle of Man Gambling License
PACKAGE «COMPANY & GAMBLING LICENSE IN ISLE OF MAN»
- Company formation in Isle of Man
- Provision of Operations Manager
- Comprehensive business plan preparation
- License application submission
- Introductions to data hosting providers
- KYC & AML / CFT guidance
- Providing assistance in opening bank accounts
- Fees for registering a company with the government
- Application fees
Advantages of the Isle of Man Gambling License
The first notable advantage of holding the Isle of Man gambling license is the business infrastructure. The government views gambling, including online gambling, businesses favorably and therefore has ensured that they have access to modern telecommunications infrastructure and high-tech data centers and that they’re able to make use of digital currencies and other blockchain-based products, as well as benefit from other relevant support. Operating within a quality infrastructure contributes to the ease of management of the company.
The government supports gambling entrepreneurs through the Isle of Man Enterprise Support Schemes that include micro-business grants, loans, equity investments, and funding for business improvement. You may also be entitled to receive financial support for the relocation of your business to the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man’s business environment facilitates the integration of gambling businesses by offering advisory support related to software development, marketing, investment, and other business areas.
The Isle of Man has a flexible approach towards regions of operation as there are no blacklisted countries where gaming or gambling operators would be prohibited from providing their products and services. While there is no blacklist, all license holders should take responsibility to only choose countries that legally permit and regulate gambling.
You should also note that the Isle of Man offers a Disaster Recovery Program in case of a political or economic disaster in the region where gambling operations are based. The purpose of the program is to help affected businesses smoothly move their operations to the Isle of Man without having to suspend or terminate their economic activities. Gaming operators can operate under their home legislation for up to 90 days and after that, they’re required to apply for the Isle of Man license in accordance with general rules.
The taxation framework in the Isle of Man is among the most competitive ones in Europe and the entire world. The Corporate Tax rate is 0% on most types of income. Distributed dividends, royalties, and interest paid to non-Manx residents are subject to Withholding Tax at the rate of 0%. The Gaming Tax ranges from 0,1% to 1,5% on Gross Gaming Yield (GGY). The Isle of Man has over 30 Double Taxation Agreements (DTA’s) allowing international businesses to optimize their taxes by avoiding being taxed twice in two different countries.
Moreover, the Isle of Man has lower financial accounting requirements. For a Private Limited Company (Ltd), the preparation of financial statements isn’t mandatory unless any member or director of the company demands it in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 or other relevant law. Private companies are generally exempt from having to audit their financial statements and accounting records can be kept anywhere in the world.
3-4 months to obtain a license - one of the fastest options
0% tax on dividends and profits - beneficial taxation
The infrastructure for the Gambling industry has been created on the island
With Isle of Man Gambling License you can go to IPO
Gambling Regulations in the Isle of Man
The laws of the Isle of Man make a distinction between online gambling and gaming. The former is defined as the act of setting up online games by means of telecommunication, and the latter covers controlled machines, usually placed in casinos, that allow players to win prizes.
The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) is responsible for the enforcement of gambling regulations, including licensing and the prevention of money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. It aims to keep the gambling industry crime-free, protect young and vulnerable persons, and ensure that the services offered by license holders are fair and that players receive their true winnings.
The jurisdiction is very responsive to the swiftly evolving gaming industry, and the GSC was among the first institutions to start regulating online gambling after the issuance of the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001 (OGRA). Its goal is to protect players and support online casino operators by keeping gambling safe. Under the OGRA, all forms of online gambling and gaming can be licensable, except for spread betting, pursuant to the Online Gambling (Prescribed Descriptions) Regulations 2007 as spread betting is regulated by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority.
Gaming, including betting, bookmaking, and lotteries, is regulated by the Gaming, Betting, and Lotteries Act 1988 (GBLA) and The Gaming Betting And Lotteries (Amendment) Act 2001 which, among other regulatory aspects, define the term “gaming” as the playing of a game of chance for winnings in money or money’s worth, whether or not any person playing the game is at risk of losing any money or money’s worth. In these Acts, you may also find rules for the promotion of gaming, the treatment of minors, and other relevant restrictions and rights.
It’s also important to remember that most gambling licensees are regulated by anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) legislation. The GSC supervises the Isle of Man gambling industry’s compliance with AML/CFT regulations. Moreover, it participates in national initiatives to assess the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing through gambling activities, as well as contributes to the evaluation of the Isle of Man’s AML/CFT performance against the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The main legislative piece is the Gambling (Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism) Act 2018. AML/CFT rules include the arrangement of customer due diligence (CDD) and know-your-customer (KYC) procedures, and the reporting of suspicious transactions.
Depending on the type of business activities the following legislation might also be relevant:
- The National Lottery Act 1999
- Casino Act 1986
- Pool Betting (Isle of Man) Act 1961
- Pool Betting (Isle of Man) Act 1970
- Gambling Supervision Act 2010
GAMBLING LICENSE IN ISLE OF MAN
|Period for consideration
||3–4 months||Annual fee for supervision||$42624.68 per year|
|State fee for application
||$6089.24||Local staff member||Required|
|Required share capital||Various||Physical office||Required|
|Corporate income tax||0%||Accounting audit||Required|
Types of the Isle of Man Gambling Licenses
In the Isle of Man, a gambling license is granted on the basis of the business model and objectives of an applicant and it permits the use of all digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. The licenses cover such business models as poker, casinos, sportsbooks, esports betting, fantasy sports, lotteries, and mobile games. Below we share information on the available online gambling licenses which are currently on the rise.
The first type of license offered by the GSC is the Full License which has the following characteristics:
- It covers the gaming activities of the main licensee’s company and its subsidiaries
- It permits license holders to conduct business-to-consumer (B2C) activities, including the registration of players, their data storage, operating proprietary technologies
- Full License holders can provide white-label solutions (a gaming platform, content, network access, and other business solutions) to other gambling operators who then are exempt from having to satisfy GSC requirements themselves
- Full License holders can partner with an unlimited number of other operators looking to obtain a Sub-License from the GSC
- Full License holders offer them games and software but aren’t responsible for the administrative and legal activities of sub-licensees
- The fee per partnership is 5,000 GBP
- This license can’t operate ‘upward’ to cover the gambling activities of a parent or a holding company or ‘sideways’ to cover the operations of sister companies
- Annual license fee – 35,000 GBP
The second type of license offered by the GSC is a Sub-License, boasting the following features:
- It’s designed mainly for operators with no prior business experience in the gambling industry who wish to conduct B2C activities
- A sub-License is a go-to option for companies with a database of potential players but no gambling products and services of their own
- A Sub-License holder links itself to a Full License holder by signing an agreement
- Registered players of a Sub-License holder have access to the software or games provided by the Full License holder
- A Sub-License doesn’t prevent its holder from applying for a Full License at any time
- Annual license fee – 5,000 GBP
The third type of license offered by the GSC is a Network Services License, boasting the following features:
- The licensees can accept customers registered with casinos licensed in other jurisdictions without having to initiate the re-registration process
- This approach facilitates a streamlined migration of client data from the source server to a server located in the Isle of Man without having to go through such AML checks as KYC as it’s expected they’re already compliant
- They have the same rights and obligations as the Full License holders, including the provision of fair, safe, and crime-free services
- There is no fee charged for adding new partner gambling operators to the network
- One of the main benefits of the Network Services License is that the licensees can reach new markets by accepting customer databases from other jurisdictions
- Annual license fee – 50,000 GBP
The fourth type of license offered by the GSC is a B2B Software Supplier License, having the following characteristics:
- The licensees get listed in the GSC games registry and can offer software to Isle of Man operators
- The license can be obtained by standard fiat platform providers and blockchain-based software providers
- The offered software must be tested and get certified to become eligible for the license
- Licensed software providers aren’t required to go through additional certification processes which simplifies software integration
Isle of Man Gambling License
Year of foundation
Requirements for License Applicants
To be eligible for the Isle of Man gambling license, a gambling operator must meet the following criteria:
- It must be a company limited by shares and incorporated in the Isle of Man irrespective of the type of gambling activities (online or offline)
- There must be evidence that the company is under the control of a person or persons of integrity who has the competence to run such a company
- The company must have adequate financial means available to conduct a gambling business
- If applicable, game servers must be located on the Isle of Man
- If applicable, Random Number Generators (RNGs) and gambling systems must be certified by an approved independent software testing house
- Drafting gambling rules of the jurisdiction oriented to the customers and preparing to publish them on the business website in several world languages (the absence of this information is considered an attempt to mislead users or hide information)
- Designing internal AML/CFT policies and procedures for the risk assessment related to money laundering and terrorist financing, and reporting of such activities
- While the initial capital requirement for a Full License applicant is 100,000 GBP or equivalent, the amount varies depending on the type of activities – our team here at Finwyn Consultancy LTD will be happy to consult you if you wish to receive information tailored to your business model
The following documents must be submitted to the GSC:
- A business plan including the description of gaming equipment and software to be used, target market, game rules, marketing plan, and operational structure
- A detailed description of the games to be offered
- Full analysis of the financial model and financial projections for the next 3 years
- Third-party RNG certificate or a confirmation of the application for it
- Software description and Technical System Testing (TST) report
- Evidence that servers are located in the Isle of Man
- Notarized photocopies of the shareholders’ and directors’ passports
- CVs of the company directors proving their relevant professional experience
- Shareholders’ bank statements (no more than 3 months old)
- Personal declaration forms for individuals applying for the license
- Certificates of the absence of criminal records of the shareholders and directors (no more than 3 months old)
- Proof of registered office address located in the Isle of Man
- A statement by the shareholders that access to the proposed gaming services is blocked for minors and information about problem gambling is published on the business website
The decision-making process is thorough and well-structured. Before granting a license the commissioners have to consult the Treasury, the Department of Economic Development, the Financial Supervision Commission, the Chief Constable, and the Isle of Man Data Protection Supervisor. However, unlike regulators in other European jurisdictions, the GSC isn’t obligated to provide reasons for refusing to grant a license.
How to Establish a Gambling or e-Gaming Company in the Isle of Man
To obtain the Isle of Man gambling license, you should first open a Company Limited by Shares (Ltd), regulated by the Companies Act 2006. Provided that all submitted documents are in order, the standard registration takes 48 hours with the option to register even faster by paying higher fees. Since the Isle of Man is a British Crown dependency, the official language is English which means you probably won’t have to spend time translating application documents.
Key requirements for a Company Limited by Shares (Ltd):
- At least one shareholder who can be either a natural or a legal person, resident or non-resident – there are no limitations and they don’t have to be disclosed to the public
- At least 2 local directors appointed within one month of incorporation
- A registered agent as defined by section 74(3) of the Act
- An application for the incorporation of a company can be filed only by the person named in the Memorandum as the first registered agent
- A company must have a registered physical office address in the Isle of Man
There are no requirements for a company secretary, and annual general meetings aren’t mandatory. Accounting records and financial statements must be kept for at least 6 years and can be held anywhere in the world and in any currency.
The following documents are required to establish a company:
- A Memorandum of Association
- Articles of Association
- Photocopies of shareholders’ passports
- Proof of paid registration fees
- Proof of registered office address located in the Isle of Man
The Memorandum of Association should include the following information:
- The name of the company
- The legal form of the company
- The name of the first registered agent of the company
- The full name and residential or business address of each shareholder
- The agreement of each shareholder to take one or more shares on the incorporation of the company
- The purposes for which the company is established
The registration fees are payable to the Companies Registry and are set as follows:
- 100 GBP for a standard registration within 48 hours of receipt of the application documents
- 250 GBP for registration within 2 hours (only possible if the registration documents are received by the department before 2.30 pm on a business day)
- 500 GBP for fast-tracked registration while the person who has presented the documents waits (only possible if the registration documents are received by the department before 4 pm on a business day)
All registrations are subject to receipt of the correct fee, complete documentation, and an acceptable company name. A registration fee paid to the department is non-refundable, whether or not the company is registered in accordance with the indicated turnaround.
To establish a company in the Isle of Man, you should take the following steps:
- Come up with and reserve a unique and compliant company name in English or another language; it must end with the word “Limited” or abbreviation “Ltd” and must not contain words signifying regulated activities, or offensive words
- Find a registered agent of a company who holds a Class 4 license issued by the Financial Services Authority under the Financial Services Act 2008
- Open a bank account with a local bank
- Find and sign an agreement with verified payment processors, possibly with a wide range of safe payment options
- Transfer the required minimum share capital to the local bank account (in any currency)
- Settle the incorporation fees
- Submit incorporation documents to the Companies Registry
Best Isle of Man Casinos
Gambling License Application Process
Once a company is established, and the GSC issues a letter that the application has been accepted, it may take up to 3 months to receive a gambling license in the Isle of Man which is quite swift compared to other jurisdictions. You should note that incomplete applications can be delayed and therefore it’s advised to consult legal consultants before submitting an application who can help you with the preparation of required documents and information. If the application is successful, the license is granted for a five-year period but the GSC reserves the right to revoke it at any time if any terms are violated.
The key steps of applying for a gambling license are as follows:
- Paying an application fee (5,000 GBP for a Full License, Sub-License, or Network Services Licence)
- Submitting the application form and the vetting form along with the required documents to the GSC
- If a license is to be granted in accordance with GBLA, an applicant is required to publish in an Isle of Man’s newspaper a notice of the application, which shall state that any person who wants to object to the grant of the license should notify the GSC
- The GSC may request to meet with the Designated Official and Operations Manager (where appointed) to discuss the business model and gain an understanding of the key aspects in relation to the proposed business
- Attending a formal hearing followed by a decision to either grant or refuse a license
Regulated United Europe will be delighted to support you in incorporating a company and obtaining a gambling or e-gaming license in the Isle of Man. With dedicated legal advisors, tax experts, and financial accountants at your side, you will find the incorporation and application processes easy, frictionless, and transparent.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes. The Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown Dependency located in the Irish Sea, and it has a well-regulated and reputable gambling industry. The regulatory authority responsible for overseeing and licensing gambling activities in the Isle of Man is the Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC).
To obtain a gambling license in the Isle of Man, applicants must complete several steps and align their business activities with strict regulatory requirements. Here's an overview of the typical process:
- Determine the type of gambling license that suits your business model. The Isle of Man offers various licenses for different types of gambling activities, such as online gambling, land-based casinos, betting shops, and more.
- Before submitting a formal application, request a pre-application consultation with the Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) to discuss business plans, understand the regulatory requirements, and clarify any concerns or questions.
- Prepare the application. It will typically require detailed information about the company, its ownership structure, financial stability, business plan, gambling software, player protection measures, and more.
- Submit the application to the Gambling Supervision Commission along with any required supporting documents and the application fee.
- Application review and due diligence. This step may involve background checks and assessments of the company's financial standing.
- On-site compliance audit. The GSC will conduct it to ensure that the company has the necessary policies, procedures, and systems in place to meet the regulatory requirements.
- Decision and issuance. Once the GSC is satisfied with the application and compliance with the regulatory standards, it will make a decision on whether to grant the gambling license.
In the Isle of Man, a gambling license is granted on the basis of the business model and objectives of an applicant. It permits the use of all digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. Gambling licenses cover such business models as poker, casinos, sportsbooks, esports betting, fantasy sports, lotteries, and mobile games.
The typical timeline for obtaining a gambling license in the Isle of Man can range from several months to a year or more. To expedite the process, it is essential to submit a well-prepared and comprehensive application, promptly respond to any queries from the GSC, and engage legal professionals experienced in Isle of Man gambling regulations.
No. Opening a bank account is an essential condition for establishing a company in the Isle of Man. Without having a functional company, it will not be possible to obtain a gambling license.
An Isle of Man gambling license is typically issued for an initial duration of five years. After the initial period, the license can be renewed for additional five-year terms, subject to the licensee's continued compliance with the relevant regulations and payment of the necessary fees.
Obtaining a gambling license in the Isle of Man carries multiple benefits to its holders. Some of the key advantages include:
- Reputable Jurisdiction. The Isle of Man is a well-regulated jurisdiction for gambling. Holding a license from the Isle of Man's Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) enhances the credibility and legitimacy of the operator in the eyes of players and business partners.
- International Recognition. The Isle of Man is recognized globally as a jurisdiction with high standards for gambling regulation. Holding an Isle of Man gambling license can open doors to international markets and player bases, providing opportunities for expansion and growth.
- Tax Advantages. The corporate income tax rate is currently set at 0% for most gambling activities, making it an attractive choice for businesses seeking tax advantages.
- Robust Regulatory Framework. The GSC enforces includes stringent player protection measures, anti-money laundering (AML) requirements, and responsible gambling guidelines.
- Access to Payment Processing Services. Holding a reputable gambling license from the Isle of Man can make it easier for operators to access payment processing services and establish partnerships with financial institutions.
- Intellectual Property Protection. The Isle of Man provides strong protection for intellectual property rights, including trademarks and copyrights, providing an added layer of security for gambling operators.
- Regulatory Support: The GSC provides ongoing support and guidance to licensed operators, assisting them in staying compliant with the regulatory requirements and industry best practices.
Yes. The most prominent difficulties include strict regulatory requirements, time-consuming regulatory process and financial costs related to business administration and the nature of business activities.
Yes. There are no limitations regarding the nationality of company owners and shareholders in the Isle of Man.
Yes. Gambling companies in the Isle of Man are subject to audits and ongoing monitoring by the Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC). The GSC conducts regular audits and inspections to ensure that licensed gambling operators are complying with the relevant laws, regulations, and licensing conditions.
Yes. However, a Company Limited by Shares (Ltd) in the Isle of Man must appoint at least 2 local directors (within one month of incorporation).
Are there any measures in place in the Isle of Man to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism?
Yes. Most gambling licensees are regulated by anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) legislation.
The GSC supervises the Isle of Man gambling industry’s compliance with AML/CFT regulations, participates in national initiatives to assess the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing through gambling activities, and contributes to the evaluation of the Isle of Man’s AML/CFT performance against the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The main legislative piece is the Gambling (Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism) Act 2018. AML/CFT rules include the arrangement of customer due diligence (CDD) and know-your-customer (KYC) procedures, and the reporting of suspicious transactions.
The minimum number of directors in an Ltd company established in the Isle of Man is two. Besides, at least two directors must be residents in the Isle of Man.
What is the size of the authorized capital of a company that can apply for a gambling license in the Isle of Man?
There is no specific minimum authorized capital requirement specified in the Isle of Man's gambling legislation for companies applying for a gambling license. However, it is essential to consider that while there might not be a minimum capital requirement, the GSC will assess the financial stability and viability of the company during the licensing process.
An Isle of Man company with a gambling license is subject to various taxes, including both corporate taxes and specific taxes related to gambling activities. Here are the key taxes that an Isle of Man company with a gambling license may be required to pay:
- Betting duty.
- Value Added Tax (VAT). In general, the provision of gambling services is exempt from VAT in the Isle of Man. However, there are certain exceptions and complexities in VAT treatment for specific types of gambling activities.
- Social Insurance Contributions.
- Administrative taxes and license fees.
Annual license fee depends on the type of gambling license and the business activities of a particular license holder. It may vary from 5,000 GBP to 50,000 GBP.
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