The Best Isle of Man Licensed Online Casinos | 2019

eGaming Isle of Man - Small But Mighty!

Often mistaken as a part of the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man is actually a separate jurisdiction with its own government in place. It is in fact, this independency that has lead the small island to become the financial centre it is known as today. UK companies have been known to register their assets there but they aren't the only operators looking to benefit from favourable Manx legislation. Today, the island is also considered an online betting and gambling hub. In spite of its small size, it has caught the eye of numerous online gambling companies over the years. If you are looking to find out what makes this gaming license so coveted we suggest you read on. Here's our top list of online casino Isle of Man options to get you fired up.

Top 3 Isle of Man Licensed Online Casinos

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If you are looking for the best Isle of man casino online, then we would suggest sticking to any of the trustworthy sites listed above. These are some of the best in the online gambling industry. We have an unbiased casino review on each of them to prove it.

The casino list above may be shorter than you expected. The truth is that it used to be longer but the Manx economy suffered turmoil in recent years that lead to some uncertainties. In fact, the jurisdiction's AAA credit rating was actually downgraded in 2013 and again in 2017. This certainly had an impact on the demand for isle of man gaming licenses but this is only one side of the story. If you want a more in-depth account of things, you're going to need to keep reading.

Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission - A Brief History

isle of man gambling supervision commission

This isn't the only island with a history in online gambling. Curacao and Malta Gaming Authority are two other gambling jurisdictions that offer online gaming licenses. What sets Manx Gambling laws apart from other countries is the fact that it was one of the first to create a new set of regulations specifically for online gambling operators. Others tend to adapt their regulatory infrastructure of land-based establishments to the online world. 

The official entity in charge of Isle of Man Legislation related to gambling is the Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC). The regulatory committee dates back to the 1960s and still stands today. 2001 saw them draw up the Online Gambling Regulation Act and open up the doors to offshore gambling companies. An OGRA license is needed for gaming operators looking to engage in a long list of gambling activities. Licensable activities include sportsbooks, peer-to-peer gaming, online casino games, pari-mutuel and pool betting as well as many others.

By the mid-2000s, the island's gambling industry was booming with Douglas being the heart of it all. In 2010, the Isle of Man government made amendments to the law to provide more leeway to gaming companies in terms of PSPs and online software providers. In spite of numerous hits the country took following a financial crisis, it continues to be a coveted jurisdiction to this day. What makes this gambling license so special is the fact that it is considered a whitelisted gambling jurisdiction in the UK. This is further reassurance that the Manx online gambling license lives up to high standards. We have listed the main functions of the country's GSC below.

Functions of the Gambling Supervision Commission

  • Licensing and monitoring of license holders
  • Providing support throughout the application process
  • Ensuring that licensee's casino games are RNG tested by external auditors
  • Ensuring that licence holders are taking all necessary steps to protect player funds
  • Looking into complaints lodged against a gambling operator

Iom Tax Rates - Are these favourable in Online Gaming?

Although the Isle of Man forms part of the UK gambling whitelist, it is an independent country. What this means is that it comes with its own set of rules and regulations. This is the biggest reason for the Isle of Man online services being so financially attractive. In fact, the IOM gov online tax strategy is extremely simple.

For starters, there is no corporate, personal gains or inheritance tax on the island. Additionally, tax for gross gaming yield is also extremely competitive, capped at 0.1 - 1.5% depending on the yield per annum. Furthermore, the island is also renowned for its high tax allowances and numerous financial assistance schemes. Isle of man vat rate and rules are in sync with the United Kingdom.

How to Get a Gaming License in the Isle of Man

Manx registered companies with at least two local directors are able to choose from online gaming license possibilities. One thing to point out at this stage is that the island operates a one-license-fits-all policy, similar to Curacao eGaming. What this means is that the online gambling license covers a long list of games including slot machines, bookmakers, lotteries as well as other online amusements. We have listed the various licensing options available on the market below:

  • Full OGRA License
  • Sub-License
  • Networks Service License
  • Disaster Recovery Services License (Via island's telecoms network)

Each type comes with its own fees and benefits. At the end of the day, choosing the right licence will come down to the long-term intentions of the gaming company.

Once it is clear what online gambling license type the company is applying for, they must start to look into the whole process. Prior to submitting an application, it is important to understand the criteria which all potential licensees must live up to. We have listed them below.

OGRA License Requirements

isle of man license requirements

  • The company must be registered on the island
  • There must be a resident designated official or operations manager
  • At least two local directors
  • Servers must be hosted locally and registration must take place on these servers
  • Casino games must be RNG tested by external auditors (proof of certification)
  • Directors, D.O or others owning more than 5% must be vetted
  • Proof that player funds are being protected
  • All forms must be filled out and application fee must be settled
  • Further paperwork from owners including clear criminal conduct, proof of identity, proof of sufficient capital, clear business plan etc.

Living up to the list of criteria above usually takes around 4 weeks. Of course, this will all depend on the actual gambling company and whether they have any advisories on board. Once the application has been submitted and all requirements have been fulfilled, processing usually takes up to 11 weeks.  Once granted, a licence is valid for a period of 5 years.

Isle of Man Casino License Fees

Although this jurisdiction is known for being financially favourable, entering the gambling industry is never free of charge. In fact, there are certain fees which operators need to be aware of. We have listed the main fees related to licensing below.

  • Application - £5,000
  • Full Licence - £35,000
  • Sub-Licence - £5,000
  • Network Services Licence - £50,000 + £5,000 (per foreign operator)
  • Disaster Recovery Services License - £5,000

The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission - Reliability

As well as boasting a strategic location and world-class infrastructure, a GSC Gaming license is also considered to be one of the more trustworthy ones. It may be similar to Curacao in that it follows the 'one-size-fits-all' principle but this is perhaps the sole resemblance that the two licences bear. Compared to the Caribean e-Gaming policies, the Isle of Man is streets ahead in all aspects.

In fact, it is also ahead of the game when compared to trustworthy jurisdictions like Malta and we see this in the fact that it is whitelisted in the United Kingdom. In many ways, the GSC and UK Gambling Commission bear similarities despite being separate markets with different regulations for the gambling sector in place.

UKGC Vs. Manx Gambling Supervision Commission

  • AAA Accreditation - Although not as reputable as in the UK, for years the island held an AAA rating. This has recently been downgraded due to various financial tremors.
  • IBAS - All OGRA-licensed gambling sites must act in line with regulations set up by the Independent Betting Adjudication Service. The same applies to gaming in the UK.
  • Anti-Money Laundering - The UK is constantly looking to improve transparency and accountability in gambling online. The Gambling Supervision Commission imposes similar obligations within the gaming industry and is constantly looking to develop things further.
  • Responsible Gambling - According to the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001, GSC licensed casinos must verify the age of all players. In addition to this, local organisations that help with addiction such as GamCare Isle of Man have been set up. In the past, there were instances of abuse however things have improved massively. Regulatory companies such as Senet Group have been set up to promote standards. The British GC is seen as the industry leader when it comes to responsible gambling.
  • PSPs - Once again, the United Kingdom is setting the industry standards when it comes to payment options. This said Isle of Man licensed gambling sites are also opening the doors to cryptocurrencies.
  • Software Providers - As is the case in the United Kingdom, the island's regulations state that all sites must have their games RNG tested by external auditors to ensure they are in fact fair.
  • Player Protection - The Gambling Supervision Commission organises random checks to ensure that sites with an OGRA licence adhere to all online gambling laws. In the United Kingdom, things are even more rigid and there is little room for mistakes.

Lodging a Complaint against an Isle of Man Casino Site

In case it isn't clear already, the country has put a lot of focus to help protect players who enjoy gambling online. As is the case with other gambling jurisdictions, should players encounter any issues throughout their gaming experience, it is also possible to lodge a complaint against an operator. We have listed some steps below to help guide you through the process.

  1. Contact the operator directly to inform them about the matter.
  2. Should the matter remain unsolved, access the Gambling Supervision Commission's official website.
  3. First read through the player protection page to see whether this can help.
  4. Also, ensure that the operator is in fact still OGRA licensed.
  5. If you would still like to submit a complaint, fill out the online form.
  6. Include all of your details as well as a clear account of your reasons for complaining.
  7. Be sure to include any screenshots or documents that can act as concrete evidence.
  8. You should receive confirmation that your complaint has been submitted.

The GSC looks into each gambling and betting complaint individually. Should they feel that the request requires further investigation, they will carry out an audit of the operator. If the casino is found to be in breach of online gambling laws, further action will be taken. Penalties include fines, licence suspension or even termination. The same eGaming rules apply for sub-licensees.

Online Gaming Software for Manx-licensed Casinos

online casino software isle of man

At this stage you should have a clearer picture of everything there is to know about the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission. The good news is that the jurisdiction has understood the importance of fair gaming. In fact, all casino games must be tested by independent bodies to ensure that the RNG software is up to par. The commission approves reputable auditors such as eCogra and iTech Labs for all virtual and live dealer games online.

With such restrictions in place when it comes to the licence, you can only expect gambling sites to cooperate with top-notch providers. Popular game providers include the likes of Playtech and Microgaming amongst others. Whilst other jurisdictions such as Curacao and even Malta have had issues in the past with piracy, this is not an issue here. Blackjack, roulette, slots or even lotteries, players can rest assured that their gaming experience will, in fact, be a fair one.

IOM GSC Licensed Casinos - Pros and Cons

isle of man casino online perks

The E-gaming business may still be up and coming but as we have seen there are a lot of perks for operators. We have come up with a table of advantages and disadvantages below to further highlight all of this.

Pros Cons
One License for all Gaming Activities online Known to be less Efficient
White-listed by the United Kingdom Credit Rating has been Down-Graded recently
Strategically close to Great Britain  
Stable Government  
Emerging Economy  
Numerous Financial Perks (taxation etc.)  

Isle of Man Licensed Casinos FAQs

What is the best Isle of Man casino online?
There are several online gaming license holders that are reputable within the area. We would suggest checking back to our list above. These are some of the best the gaming industry has to offer. Players can rest assured that their gambling experience will be a safe and fair one.
How much does an Isle of Man gambling license cost?
Whilst the jurisdiction is known for its tax advantages, getting a licence will incur some charges. The good news is that unlike others, this is a one time fee. Operators will need to pay £5,000 for their application and depending on the type of licence they are applying for prices range between £5,000 and £50,000.
Is it safe to wager real money at Isle of Man gaming companies?
Yes, gaming in this jurisdiction is subject to rigid regulations. Additionally, random checks by auditors are carried out on all operators to ensure that they remain in line with the licence criteria. Any breaches could result in suspension or even termination of their licence.