Isle of Man Given Some Assurances by United Kingdom re: Online Gambling Reform

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Isle of Man

The Isle of Man, long considered the most stringent of licensing jurisdictions for online gambling firms, reacted to the United Kingdom’s desire to implement new industry reforms.  The Isle of Man is probably best known for licensing PokerStars, which was among three Internet poker companies indicted in the United States on April 15 for bank fraud and money laundering. 

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The Isle of Man has stood by PokerStars and the world’s largest online poker room has paid all its customers in full after abruptly exiting the US market.  The same cannot be said of Full Tilt Poker, which has yet to pay back a single US customer.  On June 29, The Alderney Gambling Control Commission yanked Full Tilt’s license, effectively shutting down the company entirely.

Full Tilt’s improprieties over these past few months have acted as the catalyst for Great Britain to consider new reforms as a means of protecting its citizens against rogue operators.

John Penrose, the UK minister for tourism and heritage, has already expressed support for the Isle of Man and its stellar reputation for working with solid operators over the years.  He expressed that the UK territory will enjoy a “lighter touch”, meaning the Isle of Man will not have to obtain duplicate gaming agreements.

Allan Bell, Economic Development Minister for the Isle of Man commented on the relationship, “It is encouraging to see that Isle of Man-based companies will have a much lighter touch approach and have been ensured continuity of business.” Bell continued, “In my recent conversation with Minister Penrose I received assurances that the UK Gambling Commission has no wish to duplicate the work that our Gambling Commission does in regulating our operators. It has been clear from my representations on behalf of Isle of Man operators that these provisions are a direct recognition of the confidence the UK has in our high standards of regulation and consumer protection.”

- Chris Costigan, Publisher

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