Australian firm backs the island and takes on additional staff

Opening of Newfield offices. Left to right Allan Bell, Elizabeth Aitken and Emily Wilson with the flowers

Opening of Newfield offices. Left to right Allan Bell, Elizabeth Aitken and Emily Wilson with the flowers

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An Australian company involved in the horse racing industry reckons it is on to a winner.

Newfield now has 26 full time employees with at least 20 of these IoM workers.

The forward-looking firm is continuing to recruit and the business is expecting to have more than 40 staff by the end of the year, the majority being island workers.

News of the new jobs was revealed as the company celebrated the opening of state-of -the art office premises on the fourth floor of Clarendon House next door to the RBS building in the centre of Douglas.

Company spokeswoman Elizabeth Aitken, herself an Australian, said The Newfield Group has been operating in Australia for more than 30 years. She said it could best be described without giving away the ‘trade secrets’ by saying that they operate in the gambling and eGaming sector, wagering on racing events in a number of countries.

The operation is said to have grown from a small group of university friends to a sophisticated multi-jurisdiction betting business with further expansion plans. The founder, John Wilson, at the event with his wife Shelley and daughter Emily, is said to be the leading proponent of statistical analysis utilising an extremely sophisticated betting platform.

The Group’s decision to re-locate the race-day operations from Australia to the Isle of Man is closely tied to the IoM government’s support, control and legislation of the eGaming and gambling environment.

Elizabeth said the eGaming and gambling sector in many other jurisdictions can sometimes be vulnerable to poorly thought out or abrupt legislative changes that can be devastating for the businesses.

‘By coming to a place like the IoM there is no necessity to educate the public or soothe government fears. There is a strong understanding of what we do and there are numerous benefits for Newfield in working alongside other companies in the sector.’

Allan Bell, Chief Minister, was at the opening. He said: ‘The Newfield Group has been operating in Australia for more than 30 years and operates in the gambling and e-gaming sector, wagering on racing events in a number of countries.

‘Today’s eGaming and gambling companies are sophisticated businesses with significant investment in IT infrastructure and highly trained staff. They need regulatory and legislative certainty from a government committed to encouraging the development and regulation of the eGaming industry and the associated benefits.

‘They need to manage their business in a place that provides world-class data centres and telecommunications, reliable and high-speed internet connections to the rest of the word and a strong and respected regulatory environment. The IoM provides such a quality environment.’

Mr Bell, who opened the new offices, said: ‘First and foremost is the island’s world-renowned reputation within the eGaming sector.

‘After viewing more than 50 properties Newfield chose Clarendon House as its permanent home. Newfield’s confidence in the IoM as an operational space is reflected here in this office. ‘In this context of high quality business infrastructure and an educated public with strong government support Newfield will survive and thrive.’

Elizabeth Aitken, whose husband Robert is at their home in Kangaroo Valley, NSW Australia, said the team had been made most welcome in the Isle of Man.

Newfield’s first office was leased office space in Britannia House, Douglas, provided by Dixcart. That was in early January last year.

She said two Australian trainers and managers arrived with their wives and young children in mid February. The local community quickly embraced them and they haven’t had a moment to be homesick since. ‘In addition the Department of Economic Development made us feel immediately welcome in the island, and assisted Newfield in determining that it was not licensable with the Gambling Supervision Commission.’

The training of local people is said to be intensive and can take six months before an operator is fully versed in procedures.

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