The Isle of Man is a self-governing jurisdiction that is also a crown possession of Great
Britain. Located on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, the country is recognised as one of the
traditional and prestigious jurisdictions for gambling licences.
The government has a positive attitude towards the development of gambling. Moreover, a gambling
licence obtained on the Isle of Man will help create a positive company image, and customers
will perceive your online casino as a reliable gambling establishment.
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Advantages of a jurisdiction for registering a gambling business:
From all the possible types of advantages that open up to the founders when incorporating a
company, it is definitely worth noting:
Prestige, stability of the jurisdiction.
Acceptable taxes. 0% income tax (if the company is established by a non-resident and
operates outside the Isle of Man and the UK). A low gross income tax of 1.5%.
A liberal and clear legislative framework. The scope of English law.
The loyalty and disposition of the government to the licensees.
A single licence format for all possible types of games.
The shortest timeframe for setting up a gambling business compared to other jurisdictions.
The possibility of sublicensing on the island nation: your online casino can operate on
behalf of a well-known brand with an additional option, or you have the right to conduct
A wide range of types of gambling, including sports betting, stockbroking, casinos,
lotteries, unusual games, internet services, some types of financial trading, etc.
Types of gambling licence
A peculiarity of the Isle of Man is that its gambling laws do not divide gambling licences by
type of gambling, as is common in other countries. For example, some jurisdictions require a
separate filing package for slot machines, lotteries and poker. A licence issued on the Isle of
Man combines all games and even involves betting activities. You just need to prepare one large
file. However, at the same time you should be aware that gambling licences are divided into:
a main licence;
a network service licence.
A full (first) licence is issued to companies that develop their own gambling business (purchase
software, carry out promotional activities, etc.). The licence holder can use the licence and
make money from all available games themselves, as well as sell sublicences to other
entrepreneurs wishing to enter the gambling market in Europe under the name of an operating
company. Of course, receiving additional income for this.
A sublicence is a document that allows an online casino to legally operate, but on behalf of
another, larger company. Obtaining a sublicence is very convenient for those who are new to the
gambling business. The sublicence holder, once he or she feels the need, can obtain a full
licence and work independently.
Network licence – this licence allows the holder of the basic licence to work with other
operators on a contractual basis. Offering users from other jurisdictions to gamble from its
Online Casino Licence: conditions for obtaining
In order to obtain a gambling licence, it is not enough to open an online casino. A number of
prerequisites must be met:
Register a company on the Isle of Man. The purpose of its creation is to organise a
There should be at least two directors in the structure of such a company. Individuals
The registered office and the place of business of such a company must also be on the
Isle of Man.
For a company registered on the Isle of Man, open a corporate account with a bank in the
same jurisdiction. The account must contain the entire amount of the share capital, in the
amount specified in the articles of association.
Game services must also be within the jurisdiction.
A detailed business plan needs to be created.
Players should be made aware of the jurisdiction's rules and for this purpose the rules
should be published on the website in several world languages. Failure to do so could be
seen as an attempt to conceal data and information about the gambling company's activities.
In order to obtain a licence, the company must meet these requirements:
According to OGRA:
ensuring the development of the gambling sector in a state of decriminalisation;
protecting the vulnerable;
guaranteeing honest work and payment to players in full.
the establishment of a local company under the Act 2006 or the Act 1931;
appointment of at least 2 directors — individuals, local;
the choice of an authorised resident official based on the island, or an operational
manager (local) if the former is unable to stay in the jurisdiction;
registering players on the Isle of Man servers;
placing gambling and trading accounts with banks in the jurisdiction;
Having a business plan that includes information on financial accounts, ownership
structure, rules of the game, internal controls, payment schemes, etc.
The following documents are sent to the authorised authorities:
declarations for directors, shareholders, beneficiaries holding 5% or more of the company's
shares with letters of recommendation from the auditor/lawyer;
a business plan and projections of the financial forecasts, drawn up in accordance with the
model approved by the Gambling Supervisory Commission (GSC);
an inspection certificate of the gaming system by an approved testing centre on the Isle of
RNG certificate — if a random number generator is available.
It takes about 2 months to collect documents and create up a business plan. After submitting the
documents, the GSC holds a meeting with the company's directors within three months. After
another 1-2 weeks, the licence is issued. After that, the company has nine months to get
The cost of obtaining permits to operate an online casino on the Isle of Man is £1,000. A further
£35,000 has to be paid annually for a full licence or £5,000 for a sublicence renewal.
Documentation required to obtain a gambling licence on the Isle of Man
The requirements for obtaining a gambling licence on the Isle of Man are quite simple. You should
a written detailed description of the business model: main types of games provided, gambling
rules, features of financial accounts, bank settlement schemes, appearance of the online
Company structure, shareholding information.
Copies of the founders' passports.
Certificate of the actual place of residence (not older than 3 months).
A criminal record certificate for the founders of the company.
Bank statement of the accounts of the owners of the gambling company (not older than 3
Business plan and description of the proposed games.
Confirmation of the RNG application and its validity (third-party certification);
Data about the software used.
Confirmation that the website is blocked to minors.
Documentation may be submitted electronically. A scanned copy will be sufficient to apply for a
Step-by-step process for obtaining a licence
There are five steps when applying for a gambling licence on the Isle of Man:
Preparation of documents and application to the GSC inspectorate. The licence fee is also
payable at this stage.
Discuss the business plan and objectives of the potential gambling operator with the
Analysis of the technical base.
Conducting a hearing regarding the new company's activities.
Issuance of a licence and start of testing of the gaming platform.
The submitted application is reviewed in detail, especially with regards to the conditions for
setting up a gambling company. The business model provided and the documents submitted are
The average processing time of an application for a gambling licence on the Isle of Man is
approximately a couple of months. From the moment the licence is issued, the regulated testing
of the online casino site must be carried out within 9 months.
How much does a gambling licence cost on the Isle of Man?
The price of a licence consists of several expenditure items:
The basic fee is £35,000.
The administration fee is £1,000.
Gross income tax should be taken into account: 0.1 for income of GBP 40 million or more; 0.5% for income between GBP 20 million and GBP 40 million; 1.5% up to GBP 20 million.
The cost of a sublicence depends on the price set by the main holder of the full gambling licence.
The jurisdiction has a zero corporate tax rate. It applies to all company profits except:
profits from property/land management activities on the Isle of Man;
retail business in the jurisdiction;
some banking activities.
Profits from these areas are taxed at the rate of 10%.
Companies engaged in gaming activities are exempt from VAT
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