Govt’s new eGaming boss could come from industry

BUSY AREA: The Isle of Man eas well represented at the ICE exhibition in London

BUSY AREA: The Isle of Man eas well represented at the ICE exhibition in London

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THE island’s new head of eGaming is likely to be someone who is not a serving civil servant, says the current outgoing chief Tim Craine.

He retires from the island’s government at the end of March after a 34 year career in the civil service.

Speaking shortly after returning from a highly successful showing at the ICE Totally Gaming exhibition in London, Mr Craine told Business News: ‘The exact contractual arrangements are still to be finalised but it’s unlikely that it will be a serving civil servant [who gets the job]. It is more likely to be someone from the private sector, who has worked in industry and has the contacts and knowledge of the products and the structures.’

Asked if the new eGaming chief will be classified as a civil servant he said: ‘The exact terms of the employment have yet to be finalised. Whether it’s a civil servant post or a contract post that’s still to be decided.’

Mr Craine said the govt and the private sector had recently finalised a new strategy for eGaming which will act as a ‘blueprint’ for the future which meant his successor could ‘hit the ground running’.

Mr Craine said he and his team at the Department of Economic Development were ‘absolutely delighted’ with the showing at ICE in London earlier this month.

He said the Isle of Man appeared to fare better at the event than its two main eGaming competitors from Malta and Alderney.

He said: ‘The stand saw tremendous footfall and the number of new business leads generated has been exceptional.’

He said: ‘A year ago the majority of enquiries received centred on the Isle of Man proposition. This year, however, the majority of enquiries were from businesses actively looking to locate here, asking about the practicalities.

‘This shift is a testament to the ongoing success and growth of the sector in the island, as well as international recognition of the Isle of Man’s quality as a base for eGaming companies, thanks to its innovative and robust regulatory regime, world-class ICT infrastructure, location at the doorstep of Europe, and its pro-business attitude.’

The department’s eGaming team saw high traffic to its stand across all three days of the London event. The team was supported by services providers from across the island, including corporate service providers, lawyers, accountants, data centres and telecoms firms. Prominent on-island companies such as Microgaming were also well-represented at the event.

Much of the interest came from companies hailing from the UK, Europe, and Australasia, as well as from emerging sub-sectors from within the eGaming field, such as social media gaming, as well as spread betting and forex, reflecting shifting trends within the industry.

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