Isle of Man: eSports – An Expanding Industry

Last Updated: 12 September 2016
Article by David Wozniak

 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.

David Wozniak
In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.