Isle of Man Casino Amendment Makes Headway in House of Keys
According to local media source Isle of Man Today, a bill emerged this week in the House of Keys, the parliament of the self-governed British dependency, which would loosen current gambling regulations on the books since 1986 and offer existing licensees more freedom in operations.
The proposed amendment was originally intended as an effort to thwart money laundering efforts, but will address many shortcomings of casino licensing rules, as well. Members of the House of Keys showed their approval earlier this week during the second reading of the bill.
Its new provisions address several points regarding the strict laws on the books, one of the largest being new powers granted to the Gambling Supervision Commission to monitor casino operations in regard to anti-money-laundering and abate the financing of terrorism. As a result, the Gambling Supervision Commission can now revoke a casino license when enough evidence of the aforementioned offenses exists.
According to the 1986 Casino Act, a casino was not allowed to operate at any location other than that which had been outlined during the licensing process. The new amendment allows for a casino to change its location without forfeiting its license.
Currently, it is required for any concessionaire to provide a 20% down payment to the council of Ministers before casino license is made available. Under the new bill, the council may be able to specify whether or not such a deposit is necessary and to how much it should amount in any case.
Alfred Cannan, the House of Keys’ Treasury Minister, had this to say on the subject when asked for comment on the approval of the bill, “While online gambling has become a significant part of the Isle of Man’s economy, the island has always supported a small but well-regulated domestic gambling sector, which includes licensed casinos.”
The Isle of Man sits just 45 miles off the Northern Coast of England in the Irish Sea. It houses an attractive licensing environment for online gambling operators and many of the world’s largest utilize the system to their advantage. Operators who incur and annual gross of at least $52 million enjoy the Isle’s substantially low tax rate of just 0.1%.
The Gambling Supervision Commission also recently approved additional changes pertaining to online operators that enabled those licensees to allow cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, for deposits and play. Charges that had been levied on network partners were also axed by the commission while network partners in the Isle’s iGaming segment received broader controls in the services they are able to provide to their sub-licensees.
There is currently only one land-based casino in operation on the Isle of Man, The Western Palace Casino and Hotel. However, the 1986 Casino Act provides for up to two casinos to be erected on the small dependency.
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