eGaming: 2020 Update

22 December 2020

The year launched with one of the industry’s largest events, ICE 2020, bringing together the Agency and leading eGaming experts from the Island. As always, this is a pillar stone event in our calendar, and, as it turns out the only off-island event we would be able to attend this year. We partnered with eight on-Island businesses, who joined us on our stand to form a ‘Manx hub’ at the event. Our presence at ICE has always proven to be a very successful and fruitful few days, and this year was no exception.

As a result of the pandemic, swathes of the global eGaming industry have had to innovate and adapt to ensure they can continue to offer a diverse and relevant choice of services. This includes sports betting companies moving quickly to bring new products to market, including increased involvement with esports and virtual racing due the cancellation of live sporting events.

This being said, a lot of business activity has not be slowed by the coronavirus pandemic, and this is certainly reflected in the Isle of Man, in what has been one of the busiest years to date. With the cancellation of all major eGaming events since ICE, we have continued to collaborate with industry, taking a content led approach to marketing the Island as the gold-standard in gambling regulation. We have now seen 18 new licences approved this year alone, which is a 40% increase on 2019. This spike in applications can be partially attributed to significant interest in our recently introduced Software Supplier Licence which continues to be popular to those suppliers seeking a ‘badge of integrity’ – showcasing that they’re adhering to the same high standards as the Isle of Man-licensed operators they supply their games to.  

The relevance of an Isle of Man licence continues to grow, and when talking to fellow colleagues in the industry whilst being free of Covid-19, we have seen their interest peak at living and working in the Isle of Man. This sentiment is echoed in a marked increase in companies seeking to increase their staff numbers, or indeed, set-up new operations on the Island so that they can operate within a safe and secure environment supported by a Government that is pro gaming, with 150 new jobs expected in the next six months.

As we approach 2021, we expect the Isle of Man licence to become more valuable and prestigious as regulatory challenges in competitor jurisdictions such as Curacao and the Philippines continue to grow. We expect to see more and more companies taking additional licences in jurisdictions like the Isle of Man to give themselves operational protection in the current climate. We will continue to collaborate with industry on our global marketing campaign, and hope to see the return of major events later in the year, which have proven year after year to be a pivotal platform for generating new business for the Island.