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Ahead of the game

Alyson Jamilton – Lacey, commercial director of Manx Telecom, explains how the company has developed its world –class portfolio of solutions for egaming

Manx Telecom is the Isle of Man's incumbent telecommunications operator and has always worked closely with the government to support its business development strategies. For many years. Manx Telecom provided a wide range of services, including connectivity, hosting and disaster recovery to the island's very successful finance sector and we are proud that our world-class telecommunications infrastructure and services have become one of the island's key selling points.

In developing a portfolio of solutions for egaming companies, we have taken a customer-focused approach, working with companies to assist them in offering the most compelling end-user experience to their customers and to strengthen brand loyalty for their products and services. Our ground-breaking service level agreements require our operations team to work closely with their egaming company counterparts, so that they can address service Quality issues before they have an impact upon end-user experience.

Total Commitment

Our customers demand a commitment from us to delivering virtually 100% avail ability, 24/7, 365 days a year, providing millisecond response times to European Union and US users, re-routing IP traffic during ISP outages and offering gigabits of scaleable off-island bandwidth as and when it is required. At Manx Telecom. we perfectly understand this and we aim to I deliver.
    Our blue chip offering to egaming companies is based around four key I elements: connectivity, datacenter, managed services and security. I As a subsidiary of O2  (part of the 1 Telefonica group, the second largest 1 telecommunications company in the world with revenues of € 37bn) we have had the resources to invest more than £50m in our network over the past five years. Part of this investment has taken our connectivity to another level with the installation of a Cisco-powered MPLS network, provided over a fully resilient g and diversely supplied 10 Gbs-l (gigabit per second) backbone. This connects Douglas North, our £7.5m, purpose-built datacentre, directly into the world's  global data network in London, with two fully-managed points of presence, and onwards around the world.

Up-to-the-minute

Our managed services combine the latest management and monitoring technology with a dedicated team of skilled people t whose services are available to your  company 24/7. Fully-managed firewalls and multi-vendor, multi-layer distributed denial of service solutions are employed to protect your assets against network intrusion and denial of service attacks.


When it comes to security, we aim to achieve the highest measurable standards. In addition to the company-wide Quality Standard ISO 9001:2000.  Manx Telecom's Service Division holds the ISO 17799 Information Security Standard, recognized around the world. We are currently working on the transition towards the new ISO standard, 27001. All Manx Telecom technical staff are UK government-cleared.
People power

None of this could happen without the right people and we believe ours are truly world class. Our team of qualified engineers and technicians installed and now manage the Connect Mann network for the Isle of Man Government, Europe's first secure government MPLS network that carries a range of highly sensitive confidential data. The Connect Mann network recently won the Cisco award for 'Best Corporate IP Network' in 2005 for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Our 'cutting-edge credentials' also include being the first operator in the world to launch a 3.5G (HSDPA) service.

Domicile Overview

Location    :      Irish Sea, geographical centre of Britain and Ireland
Population :      76,315
Languages :      English
Timezone   :      GMT

Operational  issues

Do local banks process online gaming transactions?
      A number of locally based international banks are now active participants in the online gaming market.

What is the local workforce like?  Education?  Skills ?
      Excellent IT workforce, conforms to international IT standards.

What AML requirements does the domicile have?
      Full AML, due diligence.  Identification procedures, record keeping, internal procedures, education and training, as well as adherence to the Isle of Man Gambling Control Commissioner’s Guidance Notes for the Prevention of Money Laundering.

Licensed firm include

  • Poker Stars
  • Betinternet.com
  • Bowman International Sports
  • Boylesports
  • Paddy Power

Contact Details
      Department of Trade and Industry
      Bill Mummery, Head of E-Gaming,
      Tel: 01624 682307
      Email: Bill.mummery@dti.gov.im
      Website: www.gov.im/gambling

Telecoms
      The Isle of Man has a world class telecoms infrastructure, comprising two self-healing fibre rings, for connectivity, bandwidthcapacity and security.  This is a large part of the reason why mmO2 has chosen the Isle of Man to trial its super-fast HSDPA 3.5G technology in the island.
      The Isle of Man Government pays the connection charge to Manx Telecom and Domicilium to provide both domestic and business customers with ADSL.  Excellent on-island support service providers in hosting, IT, digital media recruitment and office relocation specialists.

Key data

When did the Isle of Man start licensing sites?
      Applications for online gaming licenses were initially accepted on the Isle of Man in June 2001.
     
What type of license does it award?

  • Online/remote casinos
  • Online/remote betting
  • Online/remote poker
  • Online/bookmaking.

What are the minimum requirements for each license type?
      Licensing of online gaming is the responsibility of the Department of Home Affairs.  Applicants are examined on a ‘fit and proper’ basis and licences are now granted to large, medium and small operators.  The applicant must demonstrate it is a suitable company to hold an Isle of Man online gambling license.

Does the domicile require software testing /licensing?
      Yes.

What the ongoing regulatory requirements?
      The Isle of Man Gambling Control  Commission regulates all online gambling.  The Commission regulates all online gambling.  The Commission operates with a view to ensuring that gaming and betting is conducted honestly and fairly, remains free from criminal influence and exploitation and does not cause harm to the public interest, individuals or families.  A team of specialist Gaming Inspectors assist the Commissioners and carry out periodic regulatory visits and inspections of the operators business.  The regulatory system has recently gone through a number of changes so as to enable it to better protect the interest of players and at the same time allow operators to remain competitive in the global market

What are the start-up application fees?
      £ 1,000 (US $1,886).

What are the recurring licensing fees?
      An annual license fee of £ 35,000 for an online gambling license.  Online Gambling Duty is payable on the gross gaming yield at the following rates:

  • For gross gaming yield not exceeding £ 10m per annum: 2.5%
  • For gross gaming yield of more than £ 10m  per annum but not exceeding £ 40m  per annum 0.1%.

What is the tax rate?
      0% on trading profits.  Personal income tax is at a maximum rate of 18% with a cap of £ 100,000 tax payable per annum.

 

Domicile Overview

Location     :     Eastern Caribbean Islands
Population :     75,000
Languages :    English
Timezone   :     GMT - 4 hours

Operational  issues

What physical presence do operators need on the island?
      The company must have its physical presence and primary server, on which the transactions are being conducted, in Antigua and Barbuda.

What AML requirements does the domicile have?
      All gaming activities within the domicile are subject to the Money laundering Prevention Act (MLPA), its regulations and  guidelines and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) 2001.

Do local banks process online gaming transactions?
      Yes.
     
Does the domicile allow the repatriation of profits?
      The jurisdiction does not have any restrictions on the repatriation of profits.

Contact Details
      Financial Services Regulatory Commission
      The Division of Gaming
      Tel: 268 481 3300
      Fax: 268 481 3305
      Email: info@antiguagaming.gov.ag
      Email: director@antiguagaming.gov.ag

Telecoms
      Antigua and Barbuda has a highly developed telecommunications network infrastructure.  Services include: managed router service; direct connect; frame relay; high-speed internet service; international leased circuits; international toll-free services; international direct dialing; server co-location; internet access and IP-VPN.

 

Key data

When did the jurisdiction begin licensing egaming sites?
      1994

What type of license does it award?
      Interactive Gaming (Virtual Casino): Interactive Wagering (Sports Book): Key Person  License and Annual Renewal Application: Annual Renewal Key Person License.
     
What are the minimum requirements for each license type?

  • The completion and submission of all schedules and fees for the Application for Interactive Gaming or Interactive  Wagering
  • A US $10,000 non-refundable deposit for the purpose of conducting background screening and due diligence.
  • Personal information for each director, partner and chief  executive of the applicant and each shareholder with 5% or more  ownership of, or controlling interest in the applicant.
  • The applicant must provide evidence of their commitment to:
  • Preventing money laundering
  • Prohibiting under-age gambling
  • Restricting and discouraging compulsive gaming in interactive gaming and interactive wagering.

Does the domicile require software testing /licensing?
      Yes.
     
What the ongoing regulatory requirements?
      The Internet gaming companies are classified as financial institutions and are subject to:

  • The regulatory framework for egaming companies has been provided in the international business Corporations (IBC) Act and the Interactive Gaming and Interactive Wagering Regulations (IGIWR)
  • The provisions of the Money Laundering Prevention Act (MLPN) of 1996 and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) 2001 enforced by the Office of National Drug  Control & Money Laundering Policy (ONDCP)
  • ONDCP Money Laundering Guidelines for Financial Institutions licensed in the jurisdiction of Antigua and Barbuda.
  • The Revised Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 40 Recommendations.

At the end of each financial year, all interactive Gaming and Interactive Wagering Licensees are subject to a financial and compliance review.

What is the tax rate?
      No corporate tax:  an exemption on 20% telecoms tax for egaming companies: no exchange control.

Domicile Overview

Location     :     South shore of the St Lawrence  River, nine miles
South of downtown Montreal
Population :      8,000 residents.
Languages :      English 59.3% (official ), French 23.2% (official), other 17.5%
Timezone   :      EDT (GMT -4 hours)

Operational  issues

What physical presence do operators need on the island?
      There is no requirement for a licensed operation to have a physical presence and primary server, on which the transactions are being conducted, in Antigua and Barbuda.

Licensed firm include

  • Sports Interaction
  • Golden Palace
  • Poker Room
  • Ultimate Betfair’s
  • Paradise Poker
  • Poker Stars
  • Poker.com

Contact Details
      Kahnawake Gaming Commission
      P.O. Box 1799, Kahnawake, Quebec JOL 1BO
      Canada.
      Tel:  450 635 1076
      Fax:  450 635 1139
      Email: kgc@mck.ca
      Website: www.kahanawake.com/gamingcommission

Telecoms
      Applicants must co0ntract with Continent 8 Technologies to host their servers at Mohawk Internet Technologies  (MIT), a world-class internet service provider for numerous ebusinesses.  The cost associated with hosting are paid by the applicant in accordance with the terms of an agreement between the applicant and Continent 8 Technologies.  Hosting and access services are the ‘core’ functions of MIT and Continent 8 Technologies plc, providing clients with infrastructure and technical services to establish their ebusiness presence on the internet.

Key data

When did Kahnawake begin licensing egaming sites?
      July 1990

What type of license does it award?
      Client provider authorizations (CPAs).

What are the minimum  requirements for each license type?
      The Commission may grant an application for a CPA only if the Commission is satisfied that:

  • The applicant is suitable to hold a CPA
  • Each director, shareholder with 10% or more ownership of, or controlling interest in the applicant, partner and chief executive is suitable to be associated with an applicant’s operations.

Applicants are required to provide detailed information about the business entity and key persons associated with the operation.

Does the domicile require software testing /licensing?
      Yes.
     
What the ongoing regulatory requirements?
      To ensure operators are able to meet their obligations to players, the financial viability of an applicant is assessed at the time of an application and may be reassessed at any time the Commission directs.  The regulations also provide for the posting of various forms of security, where the Commission deems it to be necessary.
     
What are the start-up licensing fees?
      A non-refundable deposit of US $25,000 is required at the time of the application, which includes:

  • First annual  permit fee: US $10,000(refundable if license is not granted)
  • Non-refundable deposit to defray costs of probity checks  and control system testing: US $15,000.

The applicant must pay the costs associated with an application.  If the costs of conducting probity checks and/or testing the applicant’s control system exceed US $15,000, the Commission will require an additional deposit from the applicant.

What are the recurring licensing fees?
     US $10,000

 

Domicile Overview

Location     :     British Channel Island
Population :     2,400
Languages :    English
Timezone   :     GMT

Operational  issues

Do local banks process online gaming transactions?
      Yes.

What is the local workforce like?  Education?  Skills?
      The education system is modeled on the UK system and provides a high standard of students and workforce.

What anti-money laundering requirements does the domicile have?
      The AML code requires  that a license holder has established  and maintains a set of procedures embedded in their internal system.

Licensed firm include

  • Ritz Interactive Sports Interaction
  • Rank Interactive Gaming
  • Blue Square  Gaming  (Alderney)
  • Paddy Power Alderney

Contact Details
      Alderney Gaming , States of Alderney
      Tel:  +44(0) 207 9938 564
      Website:    www.AlterneyGambling.com
Email:  info@alderneygambling.com

Telecoms
      Alderney licenses can locate their equipment on neighboring Guernsey.  It is served by three distinct and separately managed fibre-optic networks and all networks linking it and separately managed fibre –optic networks linking it to the wider world with multiple gigabit capacity, DDOS  protection is available across all networks and all networks are SDH (Sonnet) enabled for optimum protection and resilience.  These highly advanced networks link through Paris, London  and directly onto the main Atlantic networks connecting the US to Europe.  Hosting within Guernsey has been approved and permissions and granted by the AGCC to three separate operators with numerous data centres.

 

Contact Details
      Alderney Gambling States of Alderney
      Tel: +44(0) 207 9938 564
      Website: www.AlderneyGambling.com
      Email    : infor@alderneygambling.com

Key data

When did Kahnawake begin licensing egaming sites?
      1997

What type of license does it award?
      All forms of gaming, betting and lotteries may be conducted under a single license refereed to as an egambling license.

What are the minimum  requirements for each license type?
      The standard set of requirements are:

  • The applicant must be an Alderney-registered company
  • The application should be submitted on the form prescribed by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC).  This is available on its website.
  • The applicant should submit itself to probity investigations prior to the AGCC making a finding of suitability, where after the licenses is issued.

Does the domicile require software testing /licensing?
      The core gaming system must be certified as complying with the AGCC requirements before approval can be granted to go live.

What physical presence is needed?
      There is no need for the presence of staff.  For systems, it is required that at the minimum, the gambling transaction server be hosted in either Alderney or Guernsey.

What the ongoing regulatory requirements?
      The Commission conducts annual inspections of the operations of its licensees to ensure they comply with their internal operating controls.  The AGCC also requires its licensees to submit monthly and quarterly financial and operating results.

What are the application and annual license fees?
      The annual license fee is £ 70,000 per annum with a refundable investigation deposit of £ 10,000.

What is the tax rate?
      No sales tax or gambling taxes.  No VAT and corporate taxes are negotiable.

 

What are the start-up licensing fees?
      Probity investigational fees and company formation are somewhat  dependent upon the complexity of the corporate structure and number of shareholders.  License fees are paid monthly in advance.

 

 

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