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Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission (May 2024)

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Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission

The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission regulates island gambling operations, including land-based and online services. It provides the legislation for all casinos, amusement and slot machines, betting offices, lotteries and online casinos and sportsbooks. The Commission was formed in 1962 to regulate gambling operations on the island in the interest of protecting players and getting rid of crime. In the 21st century, it became a hugely popular destination for offshore casinos because of the island's reputation as a tax haven.

Isle of Man and Gambling

In 2001, the Gambling Supervision Commission enacted the Online Gambling Regulation Act or OGRA. With the act, the commission could legalise online gambling operations by issuing licences to companies. The first licence was given to Celton Manx in 2009, a company that provides eGaming products such as sports betting, live casino games, race betting and more.
But going straight to the beginning – where is the Isle of Man?

The island is not a part of the United Kingdom but it is a self-governing Crown Dependency. It is located in the Irish Sea, between Great Britain and Ireland. The island is 221 square miles large and has a population of 84,000. The primary currency on the island is GBP and the official language is English. Despite not being part of the United Kingdom, it has a strong relationship with the UK and the Commonwealth of Nations. Now onto the interesting part.

The Island has no capital gains tax, wealth tax, inheritance tax or stamp duty. There is income tax, which is capped at a maximum of 20%. There is no corporate tax for residents or non-residents of the island, but banking businesses are taxed at 10%. Online casinos can also benefit from the competitive tax policy. Any gambling operations are taxed from 0.1% to 1.5% of their Gross Gaming Yield – which is incredibly low.
There are over 80 operators who have licences with the Gambling Supervision Commission including online casinos, sportsbooks and even gaming software providers.

Gambling Licences

There are four types of licences that the Gambling Supervision Commission can issue.

  • OGRA Licence

This all-purpose licence can be obtained by a company, and they are allowed to launch numerous operations under the same licence. For example, if you had a company that held an OGRA licence, you could make a separate online sportsbook, online bingo website, online casino and online poker rooms all under the same licence.

  • Sub-Licence

If a company is new to the gambling industry and wants to get started, then a sub-licence is a good way to go. The company can offer its services at a reduced fee but it must be tied to a full licence holder. The sub-licensed company can at any point decide to go independent by acquiring a full OGRA licence.

  • Network Services Licence

This licence gives a company all the same permissions as the OGRA licence, but it can also accept players registered with casinos from other jurisdictions. This allows the operator to add new partner operators to its network, bringing in more content. However, these partner operations need to provide proof that their services meet the requirements of the Commission.

  • B2B Software Supplier Licence

This is a B2B licence. Software providers can supply their games to the Isle of Man market. The Commission requires all gaming content, both existing and new, to be tested and certified for fairness. Then, they can be listed in the Commission's games registry and operators can reach out to the developers to obtain and supply their content.

Content That is Covered

The good news for companies that want to set up casinos and sportsbooks is that the OGRA Licence covers virtually every form of online gambling.

  • Casino Games (RNG, peer-to-peer, live dealer, virtual goods, other)
  • Bingo Games (RNG)
  • Lottery Games (RNG, reseller, live studio)
  • General Betting (fixed odds, tele-betting, pari-mutuel, betting exchange, lottery)


All applicants need a physical presence on the island too. They need to establish an Isle of Man (or Manx) company with at least 2 local directors and have a bank account on the island unless otherwise agreed. The Commission reserves the right to turn down applications that want to simply take advantage of the tax policy.

The fees are broken down into the following:

  • £5,000 application fee for Network Services, Sub-licence or full OGRA licence
  • £50,000 annually thereafter, for a Network Services licence
  • £35,000 annually thereafter, for a Full licence
  • £5,000 annually thereafter, for a Sub-licence

With the application fee, personal documentation must be submitted. This includes information about the ownership of the company, designated officials, investors, and a long list of information on how they plan to operate. It must abide by the Anti Money Laundering policy and provide content that is safe for punters to use and honours their rights.


  • After paying the licence fees, companies are subject to duty tax.
  • 1.5% if the Gross Gaming Yield (GGY) does not exceed £20 million in a year
  • 0.5% if the GGY exceeds £20 million but not £40 million in a year
  • 0.1% if the GGY exceeds £40 million in a year
  • 15% fixed rate for GGY from pool betting

These rates are extremely low. When comparing them with the UK, where the flat tax rate is 15%, the Isle of Man is a better choice for company owners.

Pros for Players

Whilst the low fees and flexible licences are fantastic for operators, let's find out how the Isle of Man licensed establishments appeal to players.

Supports Cryptocurrency

Regulation changes in 2017 permitted operators to offer convertible and non-convertible currencies to players. This not only covers tokens and virtual currency but also opened the door to the world of cryptocurrency. Isle of Man-certified casinos and sportsbooks can support cryptocurrency, so keep your eye out for them.

Numerous Operations Under the Same Licence

This was mentioned before, and how it can benefit operators, but it can also be a good sign for players. The more websites a parent company launches, the bigger the competition will be. This can result in even better deals and bigger bonus packages to grab your attention.

International Presence

With the Network Service licence, companies can reach out to a larger market of players abroad. The Isle of Man Gaming Laws are recognised by the UK and various other countries, but the Network Service licence allows operators to take their business to even more markets.

Cons for Players

Now we have taken a look at the pros, there are some cons that you may want to be aware of.

Not as Reputable

The Gambling Supervision Commission is not one of the most reputable regulatory bodies. Whilst there may be a larger presence of these websites in the UK, it has yet to make a big impact on the international gambling scene, as say, the Curacao licence.


Whilst the Gambling Supervision Commission has legislation in place for responsible gaming, this is not as greatly enforced as in other jurisdictions. Online operations need to provide tools by which players can self-exclude. However, the law does not define the length players should be able to do so nor specify whether that should extend to all operations under the Isle of Man gambling licence.

No Spread Betting

Spread betting and betting on stocks are not covered in the OGRA. There is little chance that you would seek to trade stock at an online casino, but it still goes down as a con.

International Reach

Online casinos and sportsbooks that are registered by the Gambling Supervision Commission can advertise and supply their content in the UK. They can also open their business to even more jurisdictions across the world with the Network Services licence.


There are many positives to read from an Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission licence. Operators that obtain a licence can supply virtually any type of game or bet. In addition to that, they can open numerous websites and therefore expand their business. Players will profit from this flexibility, and the low tax rates afford operators the chance to offer huge promotions and bonus packages. Whilst it remains among the lesser-known gambling jurisdictions, supporting crypto casinos will take the Isle of Man gaming market to new heights.

Lloyd is passionate about online gambling, he lives and breathes blackjack and other table games, and he enjoys sports betting.