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Isle of Man – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
The Isle of Man is a British crown dependency that is often overlooked on the international stage. The online casino industry has however made the small island territory into a powerhouse of the market thanks to its housing of several major industry players, as well as its well established governing authority. Industry heavyweights like the games provider Microgaming call the Isle of Man their home, while other giants like Paddy Power and Pokerstars also having established offices locally. This has all combined to create a healthy and competitive industry that players can benefit from, while the government enjoys increased oversight and tax revenues.
Players residing in a regulated market will oftentimes have a much better experience, than those residing in a restricted or unregulated country, in finding a new casino to play at. Regulated markets tend to house a larger variety of online casinos that have increased feature lists, as it is always in the best interest of the site to focus directly on markets that they expressively authorized to operate in. While Isle of Man residents has several support organizations and the option to take legal recourse, there is still a minor risk of coming across illegitimate operations. It is, therefore, best you ask yourself a few questions before committing your information to a particular site.
- Is the casino licensed to operate in the Isle of Man?
- What do independent reviewers say about the site?
- Does the site allow you to deposit with pounds?
- Are my preferred payment methods available?
- Will you eligible for promotions?
There are so many sites and services available to a regulated market like the Isle of Man, which makes it almost insurmountable to have to research each individual site you want to register with. That’s why you can simply visit us here at GoodLuckMate, as our reviews and articles are written by unbiased industry veterans. Our aim is to provide a reliable source of casino information, presented in a concise and easy-to-understand manner.
The Isle of Man’s Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) was established as far back as 1962. It wasn’t until the online gaming market exploded that particular notice was given to the commission though, as this is what really allowed the international scene to come alive. The 2001 Online Gambling Regulation Act is what established the regulations of internet-based gaming, which is what is still in effect today. This made virtually all forms of online gambling activities legal within the Isle of Man, allowing Celton Manx to be first the licensed operator back in 2009.
Land-based gambling is also very much legal for locals, thanks to the Casino Act of 1986. This made it possible for one terrestrial establishment to be opened up on the island. Sports betting, poker, bingo and lotteries are all activities that are legal both locally and online. It is also worth noting that the GSC acts on an independent basis to the UK Gambling Commission, whose jurisdiction does not include the Isle of Mann.
Localization options at online casinos tend to be pretty good for Isle of Man residents, a lot of it being due to happenstance. Most online casinos are based in Europe and will therefore use English as a default language setting. This also means the wide availability of euros and British pounds as currency options. The fact that sites also have to go through the licensing process means that they will be more committed to providing localized payment methods, events and offers that are of particular interest to locals. To get the most out of localization, it is recommended to look for UKGC licensed casinos, as these will be authorized to operate in the UK, allowing for a lot of localization options to be present that affects both UK and Isle of Man players.
The GSC was once seen as liberal to the point of being lax when the online gambling boom first appeared. Since then, there has been a tightening of regulations to more effectively protect players. This has made depositing at a licensed casino much more consumer-friendly, allowing players to deposit their hard-earned funds with a minimal sense of risk. While Manx pounds may not be prominently featured, plenty of sites provide British pounds as a supported currency option. Just be aware that many casinos, who do not have a UKGC license, will not put in the effort to set up British pounds on their site. You shouldn’t have a problem with finding a suitable payment method though, especially as most establishments accept e-wallets, as well as there being a growing availability for cryptocurrency transaction methods.
The island’s sole land-based casino is the Best Western Palace Hotel Casino. It is the only establishment of its kind that is authorized to operate terrestrially. Lotteries, scratch cards and sports betting shops can also be found around the island, affording residents unrestricted access to a lot of local gambling activities. It is the online sector that really shines through, as countless options are available from the comfort of one’s own home. Being backed up with robust regulations and social support organizations brings about a great deal of comfort when looking towards the internet for gambling.
The Isle of Man has managed to cement itself alongside other island nations, like Malta and Curaçao, to become a pillar of the industry that is a regulatory innovator and home to some of the biggest names in the business. We suspect that the cooperation between the industry and this small island nation will continue to flourish in years to come.