The Gambling Supervision Commission and Treasury for the Isle Of Man have approved changes to the jurisdiction’s online gambling regulations that will see virtual currencies such as Bitcoin accepted as cash.

Part of a set of new stipulations known as the Gambling Regulation Package 2016, the alterations have seen the phrase “deposit of money” changed to “a deposit of money or the deposit of something which has a value in money or money’s worth” and reclassifies crypto-currencies including Bitcoin as property rather than currency.

Online gambling operators licensed by the Isle Of Man can now accept virtual currencies subject to regulatory safeguards on value and the way in which this is stored, while any crypto-currency being used must have a reporting requirement via a creditable financial intelligence unit. Licensees will additionally be able to initiate accounts for players that use virtual currencies while a money deposit is still being required for those opened with a credit or debit card.

The Gambling Regulation Package 2016 also contains a provision that will see the Gambling Supervision Commission begin listing fellow licensing jurisdictions and transactional organizations that it feels have standards equal to its own. This change will involve the regulator cataloging acceptable test criterion and accept non-Isle Of Man certifications including those from multi-jurisdictional International Association Of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) framework sites.

In an effort to aid smaller start-up operations, the regulator has moreover decreed that sub-licensees can now take advantage of all parts of a full licensee’s platform. Island-based sub-licensees that agree to create an exclusive partnership with a full licensee will see their annual Online Gambling Regulation Act (OGRA) 2001 fee reduced by £30,000 ($43,982) to £5,000 ($7,330) while they are to be free to concentrate solely on games creation and marketing with the larger entity supplying all back-office functions.

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