|The Isle of Man, previously best known for itís kippers (smoked fish, for the uninitiated), is fast becoming an online casino haven, with the latest casinos to operate with an Isle of Man license, littlewoodscasino.com and Clubfiore.com declaring themselves open for business this week.|
Part of the reason for this is credibility. The Isle of Man, which is an autonomous British Crown dependency, provides a strict regulatory environment and a competitive tax regime. The gaming regulatory body for the island has granted five licenses this year - to Clubfiore.com, MGM Mirage, Sun International, Littlewoods and Rank.
Clubfiore.com opened yesterday, offering traditional casino games such as blackjack, baccarat, three types of roulette, slots and video poker. The casino is owned by Action Online Entertainment, and Jim McKennon, president and CEO of Action Online attested to the stringency of the licensing regime: 'Developing an acceptable way for our e-gaming operations to be regulated and in compliance took us more time and more money, but in the end we feel it will be well worth the investment as our system will set the standard for future operations'.
Littlewoodscasino.com is powered by CryptoLogic software. Lewis Rose, Cryptologicís interim president and CEO also highlighted the increasing importance of both an established brand and a strict regulatory regime in the online casino business these days: ďThe future of Internet gaming lies in trusted brand names like Littlewoods operating in highly regulated jurisdictions,' said Rose. 'Having both our gaming and e-cash software certified to the strict Isle of Man regulations was a major milestone, and we expect to see continued growth in the UK and European markets as more and more customers recognize the benefits of operating in a Tier-one regulated environment.'
Unfortunately for US punters, neither casino will accept bets from the US Ė which is a sure sign that the jurisdiction is taking a tough line on legal compliance.