The online gambling provisions in Isle of Man law are currently under consideration as part of a move to streamline and simplify the Betting Act 1970 and the Pool Betting (Isle of Man) Acts 1961-70, replacing these with the proposed new Gambling Duties Bill, reports IOM Today.
The initiative will involve the administration of gambling duties, compliance of licensed operators and combating unlicensed and unlawful gambling.
While the bill is not intended to deal with regulatory aspects of the social law or with anti-money laundering matters, it is expected to make the exchange of information between the Island's gambling bodies and between Treasury and off-Island agencies more effective to tackle any unlawful activity in or affecting the industry, the IOM Today report claims.
Plans to streamline the legalization were postponed to allow for the expected development of the industry, but Treasury now believes the time is right for putting a framework in place.
The updated legalization will reflect the radical changes in the Island's gambling sector that have seen a relatively small, terrestrial industry explode into an online, multinational one.
A Treasury spokesman said: "Operators in the Island now have markets throughout the world and a framework has developed to supply the essential software, financial and technological support it needs. The bulk of business is now done online."
Internet gambling started largely as an extension of telephone betting and has developed into a wide range of activities including gaming, poker and bingo.
"Gambling is a potentially important source of revenue to the Island in terms of licence fees and excise duties, as well generating additional banking activity, providing employment and requiring servicing by support industries," the spokesman said.
An increasing number of companies are now licensed under the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001 and are paying online gambling duty. Exceptions include pools promoters, where customers took part by some means other than online, and local ‘walk in bookmakers' betting shops.
The consultation document is available from the I.O.M. Customs and Excise Division.
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