The Isle of Man’s Gambling Supervision Commission, known as GSC, believes the time is right now to enable licensed virtual gambling businesses operating on the island to accept deposits in virtual currencies, including Bitcoin. Earlier this year, GSC released their Gambling Regulation Package 2016, a document containing the regulators’ proposed gaming legislation amendments that have been developed collaboratively with the Isle of Man Treasury. From now, the policymakers have about two weeks left to submit their comments and updates to the Package.
The latter comprises six changes to the regulations currently in effect. For instance, GSC finds it possible to allow sub-licensees to exploit a wider range of a licensee’s services (specifically those not related to gambling), giving players greater control capabilities over their own gambling activities, and, no less importantly, broadening the Commission’s rights in terms of enabling themselves to accept test certificates from other licensing bodies.
Apart from it, GSC finally proposes gambling licensees should be allowed to accept deposits from customers in convertible virtual currencies (CVCs). Two years ago, the Commission already came up with this proposition, but the Department of Economic Development rejected it completely, stating that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were nothing but property, and there was no scope to recognize them as money.
As of now, the commission still prohibits licensed operators to introduce payments in CVCs for their players, as, according to the law, BTC and altcoins are not a valid instrument that one can make payments in. Moreover, deposits need to be made using standard electronic payment methods (bank and wire transfers etc). Still, the law says one can use “…other means [of payment]”, as long as these are “approved by the Commissioners”. GSC would like to modify the statement in question so that the wording could be interpreted in a manner allowing gambling operators to also accept deposits in assets and instruments that have “a value in money or money’s worth”.
The Commission’s stance supposes standard value protection regulatory standards should be applied to Bitcoin payments made by virtual casino users, and regulators find it proper to obligate virtual currency exchanges affiliated with licensed operators to report their activities to credible financial supervision authorities, with an aim to prevent money-laundering and other illegal enterprises.