Isle of Man: eSports – An Expanding Industry

Last Updated: 12 September 2016
Article by   Simcocks

 As the Isle of Man E-Gaming Summit draws closer1, one topic that is sure to be of interest and discussion is eSports.

E-Gaming in the Isle of Man

The primary legislation effecting the E-gaming sector in the Isle of Man is the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001 (OGRA), Electronic Transactions Act 2000, and the Computer Security Act 1992. These are supplemented by various regulations and amending enactments, and there is also a Gambling Supervision Act 2010.

The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) regulates the sector with three key principles:

1. Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way

2. Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling

3. Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, or being used to support crime and where these key principles are not compromised:-

1. Ensuring that gambling products promoted by operators in the Island can compete effectively throughout the world

2. Facilitating competition and the provision of modern products and services

There are currently some 41 registered companies with online gambling licences in the Isle of Man and E-Gaming, as a whole, is now responsible for the employment of over 1,000 people in the Isle of Man as well as providing around 20 per cent of the Island's GDP.


The English Premier League (the "EPL") football season kicked off last month drawing on millions of viewers worldwide. A new multi billion pound broadcasting deal has enabled football clubs to invest heavily in terms of recruiting new players. The world record fee of £89.25million2 paid by Manchester United to acquire the services of Paul Pogba from Juventus is a prime example of the financial strength that football clubs in the EPL now have as result of this new deal. However, there is another, less conventional, form of the sport that is increasing in popularity known as eSports.

eSports is the competitive playing of video games for cash rewards and other prizes. There are various leagues set up globally in which professional sports teams compete for vast amounts of prize money, in addition to various amateur leagues.

The basic structure of the professional eSports industry includes:

1. teams (many of which are real life brands);

2. publishers;

3. events; and

4. leagues.

Teams are represented by professional video game competitors (known as pro gamers) that compete in various events worldwide. Many of the elite football clubs in Europe including Manchester City, PSV Eindhoven and Valencia3 are now represented in worldwide leagues by pro gamers, who receive a considerable salary in return for their gaming expertise.

In essence, eSports has been in existence for some time now, although it has recently become popular due to technological advancements in internet speeds and improvements in streaming platforms with Youtube and Amazon joining the industry (the latter having recently bought, a live streaming platform, for $970m). According to recent data, the final of the 2015 League of Legends World Championship event, held at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, drew in 36 million unique viewers that streamed the event over the internet4.

Asia is currently leading the way in terms of audience figures, however, western markets are due to catch up once more popular brands become engaged in eSports5. Major brands have already exploited the commercial value and global reach of eSports and sponsorship deals with leading multinational companies including, Red Bull, Intel and Samsung, are becoming more prevalent in the industry as it progresses.

Regulatory and legal issues of eSports

eSports is similar to conventional sports in terms of players' contracts, sponsorship and licensing agreements. There are also broadcasting agreements to consider when it comes to streaming events over the internet.

As eSports continues to evolve, regulatory and legal issues will also need to be addressed in order to keep pace with the demands of the industry including:

1. players' contractual rights;

2. integrity issues such as match fixing and in-game cheating;

3. possible salary caps, and salary transparency;

4. the distribution of commercial sponsorship and broadcasting monies amongst eSports teams and video gamers;

5. disciplinary matters;

6. the creation of robust governance and regulatory frameworks (a functioning governing body, or set of regional governing bodies);

7. use of sports enhancing drugs/doping (specifically in relation substances which help players stay responsive and alert for longer periods);

8. a 'fit and proper' test in relation to individuals managing eSports teams;

Why register in the Isle of Man?

The Department of Economic Development is responsible for promoting E-Gaming in the Island and states that the main reasons for it being an attractive jurisdiction for E-Gaming business is as follows:

1. Reputable and Respected, UK 'White List' accreditation6 a history of stability and security, Tier 1 regulated island

2. Clear and simple tax regime, 0% Corporation Tax, no Capital Gains Tax, low personal taxation low betting and gaming duty7:

i. for gross gaming yield not exceeding £20 million per annum 1.5%

ii. for gross gaming yield of more than £20 million per annum, but not exceeding £40 million per annum 0.5%

iii. for gross gaming yield exceeding £40 million per annum 0.1%

3. The availability of government grants of up to 40% for:

i. Relocation

ii. Manufacturing / IT sector buildings and offices

iii. Hardware & software

iv. Marketing & consultancy

v. Quality & environmental standards

vi. Annual Government funding of up to 50% can be available for training

vii. Grants can be applied for on an annual basis

4. World-class telecoms infrastructure including: two self-healing rings serving the Isle of Man; 1.2 terra bits capacity 0.02% utilisation; anti-DDOS attack technology

5. Excellent air and sea links to the UK and Ireland

6. Totally self-sufficient power infrastructure, supported by sub-sea gas and electricity supplies

The future

The Isle of Man's strong reputation for player protection8, sound anti money laundering regulations and world-class telecommunications infrastructure means that it has solid foundations in place to attract eSports companies now and in the future. It will be interesting to see how this industry develops over the course of the next few years and the impact that it will have on the E-gaming sector in the Isle of Man.


1. September 8 2016


3. Other teams include Sporting Lisbon FC Schalke Wolfsburg PSV Eindhoven Besiktas Baskonia Santos FC Volga

4. Robson, M. (2016). Is 2016 the year of eSports? [Online] Available at: ? [Online] Available at:

5. Ibid

6. The Island continues to be a part of the UK Government's White List which allows operators based in the Isle of Man to advertise their products to markets in the UK and to have UK based players.

7. The Isle of Man has attractive rates of online gambling duty. Duty is banded according to gross gaming yield – i.e. the total amount of all bets made less the value of all winnings. Online Gambling duty is as follows:

1. for gross gaming yield not exceeding £20 million per annum 1.5per cent

2. for gross gaming yield of more than £20 million per annum, but not exceeding £40 million per annum 0.5per cent

3. for gross gaming yield exceeding £40 million per annum 0.1per cent

8. The value of a registered player's account with an Isle of Man licensed operator is protected at all times by a licenced condition. This means that if an operator goes into liquidation, 100% of the player's funds can be repatriated to the player

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions