Gambling licence application

What is the process to obtain a licence?

In principle, the process of establishing the business and obtaining the licence is relatively straightforward. 

We liaise with the registration agent to open the local company and discuss the business model with the client to agree to the document drafting parameters at the earliest possible opportunity, so we can move forward with drafting and collating the suite of documents that make up the licence application and troubleshoot any potential pitfalls. 

Based on the discussions we start the process of drafting a neatly knitted suite of documents that form the basis of the application. From the date we commence work, we would schedule having a suite of documents ready and submitted within three weeks.

What are the requirements for a gambling licence?

The basic requirements of an Isle of Man licence are as follows: 

  • establish an IOM company – SolutionsHub will manage this process and work with a local corporate service provider in order;
  • have at least two local directors, who must be individuals and not corporate entities;
  • appoint at least one resident Designated Official (“DO”), or where that Designated Official cannot reside in the Isle of Man, an Operations Manager (“OM”) – we usually fulfil the role of an on-island Operations Manager unless you intend to relocate a senior employee to the Island;
  • either register players on Isle of Man servers or they must operate under a network services licence which obliges them to establish the network services in the Isle of Man (Except in the case of software supply only licences where no play must take place on Manx servers);
  • gambling and trading accounts should be located in a bank in the Isle of Man unless otherwise agreed. Banking outside the Isle of Man can also be approved if we have a commercial rationale (such as the group already holding accounts elsewhere);
  • obtain a legal opinion on target markets – the GSC does not require a copy of a legal opinion, just a copy of a board minute where the directors have considered the legality of offering services into target jurisdictions;
  • commence online gambling pursuant to this licence within nine months of the licence being granted; and
  • provide the GSC with a copy of audited company accounts no later than six months after the end of every accounting year.

What types of licence are available?

When going through the gambling licence application process, several types of licence are available.

Full licence

Permits all gambling verticals (casino, sports, esports, fantasy, poker, lottery, virtual, live dealer etc) and software supply. 

Sub-licence

Can be obtained if the applicant wishes to operate with a technology provider with a full OGRA licence regulated by the GSC. An applicant must still apply to the GSC for their sub-licence but at a reduced cost of £5,000 per year.

Network services licence

Must be obtained if the operator wishes to allow one or more foreign-registered players onto its Isle of Man server without re-registering the player details. 

Token-based Software Supplier Licence

Available to B2C and B2B operators that have created blockchain tokens that are intended to be used as the medium of the transaction by those who use the gambling software. 

Software supplier licence

Allows the distribution of new content without GSC approval. Games are simply added to the central register and freely added by customers. In addition, software suppliers licences can be a risk mitigation tool for game providers to ensure their resellers are legitimate and take the regulatory risk of software supply to non-regulated market operators.