Lyle Wraxall and Abby Kimber, Digital Isle of Man

"The Isle of Man’s strong reputation in regulation means that we are fortunate in attracting high-caliber businesses"

Abby Kimber, Director of Operations; and Lyle Wraxall, Chief Executive, Digital Isle of Man
Reading time 5:01 min

The Isle of Man eGaming license is often touted as a gold standard in the industry, garnering high demand among operators and responsible for having turned the jurisdiction into a global leader in the online gambling space.

To discuss the continued strength of the Isle of Man online sector and the key features the island's license provides operators, Yogonet spoke with Lyle Wraxall, Chief Executive, and Abby Kimber, Director of Operations of Digital Isle of Man, the Isle of Man government executive agency that supports the Crown Dependency’s digital technology business community, including its eGaming industry.

What has been key in ensuring the continued strength and reputation of the Isle of Man industry?

Several factors play into the success of the industry on the Isle of Man.

We are renowned for our highly respected licensing regime, and our world-leading regulatory system and Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC). The Isle of Man’s strong reputation for excellence in regulation means that we are fortunate in attracting interest from high-caliber businesses, which in turn benefit from the increased level of credibility it affords them. The GSC and the Isle of Man Government – which takes a flexible and collaborative approach to regulation and working with business – continuously adapt to advancements in the sector, allowing us to stand out.

We’ve seen Isle of Man licenses increase by 137% over the last 7 seven years which shows the strength of the sector on-Island and we’ve worked to improve our offering in line with industry needs, such as the development of the Software Supplier Licence which enhances credibility, ensures compliance, and opens global markets, giving businesses a competitive edge. It facilitates partnerships with leading operators and boosts investor confidence by demonstrating a commitment to legal and regulatory standards, operational integrity, and responsible gaming practices.

As a small jurisdiction, we offer a truly collaborative environment in which eGaming businesses can benefit from networking and working together with the government. We offer a unique level of support and access to extensive industry experience and expertise which businesses can tap into and use to progress and grow.

As a government agency, Digital Isle of Man works with the eGaming sector to help our businesses understand new opportunities, such as emerging technologies like blockchain or AI, and works with them to ensure they are well placed to reap the benefits. That’s not something you see everywhere, and that’s what makes the Isle of Man special.

The Isle of Man license is a highly sought-after one, valued in the global gaming industry. What are the main advantages it offers to companies in the eGaming sector? 

The Isle of Man licensing system provides certainty and global recognition for those businesses who are granted one. This recognition then offers a platform for them to secure B2B partners or investments and to further establish and grow their business.

To gain an Isle of Man eGaming license, companies have to meet a clear set of conditions. For example, the company must be incorporated in the Isle of Man, there must be two local directors, and all games, RNG and gambling systems must be certified by an approved test house. These requirements must be continuously met for a company to retain its license.

What role did the ICE expo in February play for Digital Isle of Man and the promotion of the island’s online gaming sector? Did ICE serve as a platform to establish new partnerships and keep up with changes in the sector?

ICE is one of the biggest eGaming events in the world, and we welcome the opportunity to connect with other key industry players and potential partners all in one place. At ICE, we were able to have extremely valuable conversations with businesses who are interested in what the Isle of Man can offer.

It was great to attend an event alongside some of the brilliant and pioneering Isle of Man-based eGaming Service Providers, showing off the breadth and quality of the community we have built.

The Isle of Man is a tech hub, and we’re always looking to grow the sector and continue to develop the Island’s international reputation as a home to a thriving community of successful and diverse eGaming and technology businesses, serving multiple regions and markets.

These events are always a great opportunity to have insightful conversations with others in the industry and allow us to keep our finger on the pulse of the sector.

How does Digital Isle of Man tackle new developments such as the growing importance of the AI sector? What is the key to fostering an innovative gaming environment that embraces innovation and cutting-edge technology?

At Digital Isle of Man, we recognize the transformative power of AI and its potential to generate significant opportunities across all business sectors – not just eGaming.

In 2023 we hosted our inaugural Innovation Challenge which was centered around Fintech solutions to support the success of our tech sector on-Island and for 2024 we are presenting an even more dynamic experience as we extend the Challenge reach to three distinct themes: FinTech, Cleantech, and Artificial Intelligence. We invite visionaries and disruptors from around the world to participate and provide pioneering solutions to address challenges faced by companies in the Island and globally.

We communicate closely and regularly with key stakeholders to make sure we are up to date with the latest needs, opportunities, and developments within the sector. We also have panels such as the eGaming Strategic Advisory board which we feed in to, as well as Digital Isle of Man’s own private board which includes representatives from the across the tech industry. This gives us crucial oversight of industry-wide developments and allows us to remain innovative and responsive.

Another reason that has led to the license’s reputation is the Isle of Man’s commitment to ensuring a secure gaming environment, with a robust regulatory framework in place. Can you give us some insights on this?

The flexible, adaptable approach of the Isle of Man Government and the Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) plays a pivotal role in this. The experience and level of industry knowledge allow the Isle of Man to remain responsive and adapt to the increasing calls for safe gambling practices to ensure the sector is fully compliant.

We are always open to working and speaking with other jurisdictions, and with businesses from around the world, about developments in the sector, and mutually beneficial opportunities for collaboration.

How is Digital Isle of Man preparing for the long-term future of the eGaming sector on the island in 2024 and beyond? Any plans and priorities you can share with us?

eGaming remains a dominant sector within our digital ecosystem, and 2023 has seen record growth. A key focus for 2024 will be to create a long-term eGaming strategy considering the opportunities ahead, as well as the industry headwinds.

We are currently preparing a tender exercise to engage an eGaming consultancy to create a five-year eGaming strategy for the Island in collaboration with our industry. We will facilitate that strategy, but it will fundamentally be owned by the industry itself, allowing them to identify the growth opportunities, what they want to see in the future from eGaming on the Isle of Man, and what barriers may prevent that from happening.

A large part of Digital Isle of Man’s role is being able to remove those barriers, allow growth, and maintain the strong relationships we have with the on-island businesses, as much as trying to attract new business.

It is this strategy and the close work we do with our stakeholders that will enable us to continue attracting high-quality business.

Leave your comment
Subscribe to our newsletter
Enter your email to receive the latest news
By entering your email address, you agree to Yogonet's Condiciones de uso and Privacy Policies. You understand Yogonet may use your address to send updates and marketing emails. Use the Unsubscribe link in those emails to opt out at any time.