Companies looking to avoid the 15% gambling taxes in the UK don’t have far to go in order to find cheaper tax breaks. That's because the nearby Isle of Man (a.k.a. Mann) offers a cheaper alternative for gaming companies. An early 2000s crash in the e-gaming market left the Isle of Man with no gambling companies. Since that time, Mann has done everything possible to bring gambling operators back to their country. But are they reputable companies?
The Isle of Man is an island located in the Irish Sea between Britain and Ireland. It is a British Crown Dependency, which means they depend on the UK for defense and foreign relations. Despite all of this, Mann still has their own government and is not considered part of the United Kingdom. Since the Isle of Mann retains independence, they have the ability to change licensing requirements as they see fit. The Gambling Supervision Commission is responsible for overseeing gaming in Mann.
Isle of Man Licensing Requirements
To become an operator on the Isle of Man, a company must first request an application from the Gambling Supervision Commission. After the application has been filled out, the commission will decide whether or not the company is fit to hold a license.
If a company is approved to start operating in Mann, they need to be able to afford a £35,000 license renewal fee each year. Besides this, there is also a 1.5% tax on gross gaming yield up to the amount of £20,000,000. As of 2010, e-gaming companies have been given permission to base non-gaming operations in Mann too such as marketing, administration, and customer support.
The Isle of Man is also on the UK Gambling Commission's strict gambling jurisdiction whitelist. This means that Mann-based gambling sites are permitted to advertise in the UK.
Complaints and Dispute Resolution
After the e-gaming crash left the Isle of Man with no gaming companies, they relaxed requirements for a while in an effort to attract new business, which wasn't in the best interest of bettors. However, the standards have become more strict in recent years, and Mann is proving they are serious about fair gaming with the creation of the Gambling Supervision Commission. Due to the improvements and implementation of a gambling commission, depositing at a Mann gaming company isn't much of a risk.
If a complaint arises with a Mann-licensed operator, people can contact the Gambling Supervision Commission by filling out a complaint form available here and emailing it to the address listed on that page.
Mann-licensed operators must also abide by decisions made by IBAS (Independent Betting Adjudication Service) which acts as an impartial adjudicator on disputes that arise between gambling operators and their customers.