The Isle of Man is one of the premier locations for regulated online gaming in the world and Simcocks has developed specialist skills to keep pace with this vibrant and constantly evolving sector.
The internet has revolutionised gambling and eGaming is now an international business phenomenon. The Isle of Man was one of the first jurisdictions to introduce legislation designed to regulate gambling, eGaming firms and protect customers. As a result Simcocks lawyers have partnered with some of the key players to deliver creative but practical advice on the relevant legislation and the regulatory and the wide-ranging commercial issues connected with this sector.
Within this practice area, some of the typical activities in which Simcocks has been involved have included:
Dealing with regulators in connection with the grant of licences and clarifying activities for which licences are not required
Providing and obtaining opinions on the legality of new schemes, including sourcing opinions in other jurisdictions
Negotiating and drafting commercial partnership agreements including agreements for the management of companies engaged in eGaming
Preparing terms and conditions for companies engaged in eGaming activities
Advising and preparing agreements in connection with the purchase and licensing of software relevant to eGaming
Negotiating and preparing agreements in connection with the infrastructure for eGaming activities, including arrangements for payment to participate in games and for the transfer of winnings, including the integration of payment mechanisms and referral arrangements
Dealing with matters ancillary to egaming activities, including contracts for the employment of skilled personnel, and acquiring and selling freehold and leasehold premises
Assisting with re-location to the Isle of Man both for new set ups and transferring existing business including employment contract related issues.
Simcocks technical legal capabilities resources are complemented by the legislative framework of the Isle of Man which, as a leading financial and commercial jurisdiction, provides a tax efficient environment in which to hold and exploit intellectual property rights relevant to eGaming. The Island is also supported by efficient telecommunications facilities.
The Island has been energetically encouraging the development of the sector and has some generous incentives. It offers a zero rate of corporate taxation, no Capital Gains tax, low personal tax and low betting and gaming duty.
Government funding of up to 40 per cent is available towards the costs of relocation, marketing, hardware and software. Annual government funding of up to 50 per cent can be available for training and grants can be applied for on an annual basis. The Isle of Man is also an ideal jurisdiction for AIM or the London Stock Exchange's Main Market listing, and Simcocks has experience in advising companies in respect of stock market listings.
It is a measure of the Island’s high reputation in its regulation of online gambling that in 2007 the Island was placed on the UK's eGaming White List, a list of jurisdictions approved to advertise in UK. Since then the UK’s Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 has come into force. It requires all operators that advertise remote gambling to consumers in Britain through a British-facing business to obtain a remote operating licence from the UK’s Gambling Commission.