Island faces eGaming challenges

eGaming roundtable discussion

eGaming roundtable discussion

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Eight leading names in the gaming industry gathered round a table at KPMG’s Isle of Man base for a fascinating breakfast time discussion.

There was something of an international flavour with Ernest Matthews there from the USA, Joerg Hofmann from Germany and Hilary Stewart-Jones from London.

Bill Mummery

Bill Mummery

During the hour long roundtable the Isle of Man Government’s representative Peter Greenhill spoke of his optimism that the public and private sector partnership would see the island through the challenges ahead.

Bill Mummery and Garth Kimber, who both once worked in the public sector but now run island eGaming companies, spoke of their ‘cautious optimism.’

Everyone agreed there are tough challenges ahead but the Isle of Man has qualities which place it, as a jurisdiction, in a good position to bring new jobs.

Russell Kelly of KPMG, chaired the roundtable event from the company’s Athol Street base.

Joerg Hofmann

Joerg Hofmann

He said that over the previous two days a lot of themes and comments had come out at the KPMG eGaming Summit held in Douglas. These were mainly based around regulatory change, taxation and market change and emerging markets.

He said: ‘It’s really to discuss where that leaves the Isle of Man and where we think the industry is going to head.’

But he got the ball rolling by saying: ‘Let us start by thinking whether the regularatory changes we are seeing are overall positive for the industry or overall negative to the industry.’

very hard

Russell Kelly

Russell Kelly

Gambling legal eagle Hilary Stewart Jones of London-based DLA Piper bluntly put in an industry wide perspective on matters. And she did not pull any punches.

She said: ‘I don’t think anybody would try and say that anything that has happened in the last 12 months has been positive for the [gaming] industry.

‘I don’t suggest for a minute it will be all doom and gloom but I think it will be very hard for businesses to continue to make the money that they have out of the UK market.

‘And certainly for those operators that have a land-based combination in terms of somewhere like Ladbrokes or William Hill or Coral; they are being hit on all fronts at the moment because they have got the machine gaming duty hike, perhaps at 25 per cent.

Garth Kimber

Garth Kimber

‘The [UK] Gambling Commission have this fixed idea that a casino has to look like a casino, a bingo hall has to look like a bingo hall and likewise an LBO (Licensed Betting Office)

‘Which means with moreover those properties businesses they are not really real estate players because many are in horrible locations on the High Street and there are simply too many of them.

‘With LBO’s what else could you do with them other than use them as a betting shop?’

bad odour

Ms Stewart-Jones added: ‘You can’t even combine any other real retail play in those shops unless you are pushing the parameters of regulation, and in a way that is something nobody in government has the sentiment to endorse at the moment because they put themselves in such bad odour.

‘So yes it is fairly gloomy at the moment.’

Archie Watt

Archie Watt

Mr Kelly asked her: ‘Would you say it is as gloomy for the online as for the offline gaming business?

‘She replied:‘It’s partly about the type of markets we have in the UK. People are very agnostic when it comes to their sentiments in relation to which company they gamble with. So in the UK they are driven by price.

‘In being driven by price online gambling companies have had to put a huge amount of money into gambling marketing.

‘And as a consequence that’s probably about the first place you go if you are a CFO [chief financial officer] who might ask: ‘‘Where are you goin to slash and burn next year? Are you going to make some redundancies? and, by the way, I’m going to cut your marketing budget by half.’’ ’

She added that companies might think they are going to hang on to all those customers who have benefitted by taking advantage of promotions such as 20 free bets a year.

But she said: ‘They will just go somewhere else.’

She said the much more likely outcome is that companies will be ‘squeezed’ and not have the same sort of marketing spend as they have got at the moment.

‘They will lose out to the bigger guys but even the bigger guys will then lose out to those who will just throw mad money at the customer experience securing customers.’

Mr Kelly queried: ‘So there is a risk of effectively what happened in the regulated European markets, where you get unlicensed operators coming from outside the jurisdiction and making it difficult to make money in licensed territory?’

‘It is, replied Ms Stewart-Jones. ‘A lot of these businesses are worth under £50 million and they are not going to survive.’

behemoths

She predicted: ‘It’s going to be the behemoths that take over. And therefore I anticipate a lot of brand consolidation which in terms of the economies of scale, the little guys can’t afford to have compliance regimes.

‘It will be the larger players that sit on top of brands and customers won’t realise that the [company they were playing with] had been bought up by a larger concern.’

closing down

KPMG’s head of eGaming Archie Watt predicted people closing down ‘because they can’t compete.’

He said: ‘They may try to carry on competing but they will be running at a loss and over time the less valuable their assets will become. The sooner they sell up the better. Nobody will want to buy their software.

‘If they don’t have the marketing spend and they don’t have a USP [unique selling proposition] they effectively have no marketable capability. There is nothing for them to sell other than their customer base.’

Isle of Man Government eGaming chief executive Peter Greenhill told of pressures on existing operators because there are not many new ideas coming out.

He elaborated his position on this by saying: ‘So [with] start ups, I’m not sure that there are going to be many of them. They are going to have to have a very good model and unique idea of what they can do to move into the market. It will be tough.’

Palm Springs, California based Ernest Matthews asked: ‘As a possible result of all this, will it mean a reduction in the tax revenue the UK government will get two years down the line because of closures and mergers? If the taxes get too high will the activity start to go down?

Celton Manx executive director Bill Mummery said: ‘One of the variables there is the extent to which the increased costs have to be passed on to the consumer which translates in time into an awareness of lesser value. How much haemorrhaging will there be from players just going offshore and I mean Costa Rica or wherever, just to chase value.

‘They are just going after value.’

Garth Kimber of Xela Holdings said: ‘That’s the key I think because its about enforcement. If enforcement is pretty weak then companies will start being more aggressive offshore.

‘I bet 90 per cent of players couldn’t tell you where their favourite site is licensed.’

irrelevance

Bill Mummery said ‘If you go back almost 15 years the island as a jurisdiction had a genuine belief that there was real value in the badge that said licensed in the Isle of Man, that the consumer would take some comfort from that and feel protected.

‘The reality is that it was an irrelevance to them.’

Garth Kimber added: ‘I agree.’

Archie Watt then made the point: ‘If you look at the businesses that have gone down over the past 12 months or so, they have been UK licensed businesses and it’s only because the customer bases of those businesses had been bought by somebody else that the customers had not lost money.

‘That’s the reality of the situation. It’s not the regulation that has protected the customer funds.’

Ernest Matthews : ‘It is that some one is willing to step in and continue the activity. If they had not stepped in the activity would have ceased and the money would have been gone.

Archie: ‘Exactly.’

Mr Kelly pointed out that there was a KPMG report a couple of years ago on taxation.

He spoke of a point where a tipping point is reached and tax revenues start to fall.

Mr Matthews referred to another study in which it was described that the point ‘where you reach an optimum tax rate with the government that if exceeded with respect to brick and mortar gaming facilities you end up with just slot parlours and you end up with a concrete floor and a row of slot machines because there is no extra money.

‘There is nothing left for the operator to add things, ancillary activities, to bring added value to that property like restaurants, showrooms etc - activities that generate extra jobs.

‘With respect to online gaming, those high tax rates just drive customers to non-licensed eGaming companies who can offer more benefits with their lower operating costs.’

Garth Kimber claimed the UK gambling authorities are ‘just hitting everybody from all sides .’

He added: ‘I wonder if anybody after Jenny Williams [chief executive of the UK Gambling Commission] may take the view that, hey, we have to keep some of these companies going and make some money out of it.’

But Ms Stewart-Jones then said she thought they do a good job but are terrified of the Daily Mail backlash.

Industry needs to dig its heels in

She said: ‘I do think the time has come for the industry to dig their heels in and push back a little in a way that the industry did, and wasn’t afraid to do, 15 to 20 years ago.

‘We had the case where the bookmaker, I was working at Ladbrokes at the time, who challenged the gaming board in their interpretation of gaming machines and the bookmakers won, and that’s why they have FOBT’s (Fixed Odds Betting Terminals).

‘We just said the act does not define this, the ‘‘box’’ in the corner as a gaming machine, that’s why we are putting them in and then they had the voluntary undertaking in relation to capping the payout which was enshrined in the legislation .

‘But that was a classic case where the bookmakers said: ‘‘No, enough. We can’t compete with the lottery, you know. You have precluded us from betting on the outcome of the lottery, we will have to do something to kick back.’’

‘And that’s what they did, they dug their heels in and ultimately won.

‘And I think they certainly need to do that in regards to primary purpose and there are other areas where they need to push back and say ‘‘hey look that’s your interpretation, I’ll see you in court.’’

‘The thing is it’s a brave person to do that and also on the other hand you’re going cap in hand to get a licence. And the same person sits there as judge, jury and executioner.’

sponsorship of soccer clubs

Mr Mummery referred to the most recent advisory note on advertising and sponsorship.

He claimed: ‘For me their position in law has been flawed from the beginning.’

Ms Stewart-Jones : ‘It’s untenable, its not what the act says.’

Mr Mummery said: ‘What they have done with their latest guidance note is to almost say: ‘‘Ok, hands up’’, we recognise that but they then said to the sports bodies, the premier league football clubs, that if you choose to enter into a contract with one of these [gaming] companies and they fail once in blocking the UK citizen from accessing their platform you, the [soccer] club will be mutually liable.

‘Now at the end of the day we would all do everything we can, once we decided not to hold a licence in the UK, to keep them out, but the law of physics. It’s not an absolute science to achieve 100 per cent blocking its using leading technologies and ‘‘Best Efforts’’.

‘They are saying that if you make one slip you will both be liable if the club joins up with a gaming operator.’

Garth Kimber: ‘They are trying to reinvent the law rather than applying it. It’s ahuge change.’

Archie Watt: ‘The football club is the gatekeeper. That’s the issue.’

Peter Greenhill: ‘They may not be prepared to stand up to that. There’s a sword hanging over their heads, why would they take that option?’

Archie Watt: ‘It’s a fight the football clubs don’t really need.

three brand values

Mr Mummery then made the strong point: ‘We use the three brand values - trust, value and speed of payout.’

Mr Hofmann: ‘That’s right; you have to feel your money is safe.

‘You have to enjoy the experience and you have to feel safe that you can get your money back.

‘In my opinion for a successful regulation there are two things that are key .

‘The first is reasonable taxation for the operator to make him competitive and second is content.

‘If regulation is too restrictive then the operator will feel they cannot compete with other operators,that’s the case in Germany as well.’

Mr Mummery said: ‘We used to get the choice of either paying your tax up front and lock in on the stake or pay [tax]on the winnings.’

poor at cohesive lobbying

Ms Stewart-Jones said: ‘The [gaming] industry has been very poor at any cohesive lobbying. They have let the media slip out of their hands and that has caused a massive backlash.

‘And generally gambling operators are seen in bad odour across Europe it seems.

She added: ‘Trying to persuade a drop in the tax rate is going to be a very, very, very hard sell.

‘I do think there might be some opportunity for deduction of marketingfor sports betting (before the tax is acalculateed). For gaming operators they can deduct it if it is proportionate before their net value is calculated for tax purposes in a way that you cannot do in bricks and mortar casinos and you can’t for online sports books.

‘Certainly the larger operators have been incredibly poor at lobbying cohesively. They have all just been hellbent on dripping poison in the ear of regulators and really missing the ball.’

Archie Watt said: ‘The [UK]chancellor has recognised that bingo halls were overtaxed but only after there was so much blood in the streets, that it was the only thing they could do to attempt to bring life back to bingo halls.

‘I fear that the thought of reducing the tax is going to be a vote winner as far as the front page of the Daily Mail is concerned.

‘People have always been able to offset bonuses against their gross profits in the UK. We always felt this was going to be the model going forward.

‘It came as a bit of a shock that it wasn’t .

Garth Kimber questioned whether the gaming companies ‘really understand what they have to do to be compliant? [with new regulations and licensing arrangements]

‘Is it the case the UK regulator does not get around for ages to check how compliant they are, like you have to run ISO standards on certain things, a heck of a lot of them don’t realise that.

‘They don’t realise what a lot of them have to do to hit the standard.

‘So either we will run with a lot of companies not hitting the specs, and then a lot of other companies saying why are they being allowed to be licensed, or there’s a massive expenditure in people getting up to speed so they can be compliant.

‘That comes before th e argument about tax rates .

‘There are many under a transitional licence. They will just assume that.

‘They havent all looked at that properly.’

Isle of Man perspective

Mr Kelly said there had been a lot of talk about regulatory changes and the impact on some of the larger operators. He now wanted to get more into the Isle of Man perspective.

He passed over to MrGreenhill from the Department of Economic Development on where this places the industry from an Isle of Man perspective.

Mr Greenhill said: ‘I think we are seeing those less well funded businesses, some of those that came with an idea that was not strong enough, they are going to be disappearing

‘Those that are facing the UK with small margins, are going to be hit by the UK taxation, so we are going to see pressure on them.

‘We will see mergers and acquisitions across the board so some of those people might stay here, some might be taken over by somebody else.

‘So we are going to see downward pressure on the number of licensees.

‘If we look at the top 20 per cent of our licensees here [in the Isle of Man] those that employ people here in the island and are growing their staff here, that’s where we are seeing the growth in duty. Those seem to be at the moment moving forward.

‘But we are also seeing some interesting businesses starting to come.

‘And it’s not lots of people from small areas but it is people with established businesses in binary options for example, in lottery messenger businesses who know how to run that business and have the experise rather than a very small start up.

‘We are also seeing some Asian operators starting to show interest.

‘Now that things are clearer with what’s happening in the UK etc, that’s happening.

‘And then people with real innovation. Now that’s unusual. We are seeing one [for example] in the lottery solutions side that is looking for a licence.’

unique proposition

Mr Mummery then made the point: ‘There has been a debate about the Isle of Man being impacted by the UK.

‘My view is that because of our two perceived impediments - non recoverable VAT and lack of passporting across Europe - realistically we never attracted those operators in the beginning therefore de facto you’re now at less risk.

‘But then there’s the debate about start ups and licensing.

‘Peter [Greenhill] said just now about new ideas. As we mature, as a late entrant and a fringe player you need a unique proposition and, by the way, to buy into that market you need ever deeper pockets for marketing.

‘And if in any way you are looking towards Europe you need a massive budget for the licensing and regulation.

‘Therefore set against the things you need to do is the licence fee material.’

Mr Kelly said: ‘The licence fee has been discussed a lot in the press recently. Its not a huge amount at the outset. If you look at the marketing budget. in the context of what people have to spend on marketing.

Mr Kimber: ‘I tend to agree with that [on licence fees]. I don’t think that is the issue.

‘It’s a hard thing, the whole situation has changed. I would look at this as a slow burn and where the other markets are coming from.

‘So South America and Africa for instance, we’ll get there one day.

‘I would look at what it means to be licensed here and what you have to do.

‘So the big debate that will come up is where do you put your servers and what does that mean to the Isle of Man.

‘Because if you look in theory at what operators do when their business is outside Europe, you can go into the UK and pay zero duty on all your operators outside .

‘It’s where you put your servers and what your jurisdiction looks like, that’s probably changed more than anything else and that’s an area people have to get their heads round.

‘Where can we find the new proposition?’

Mr Mummery said: ‘Those operators that are here [in the island], the further you go down the chain to accommodate start ups realistically you introduce an element of jurisdictional reputational risk of which all the existing operators are a legitimate stakeholder.’

holistically

Mr Greenhill said: ‘It’s important to recognise that anyone who chooses a jurisdiction will look holistically at everything that is there and what it means to them for business.

‘It is important to look at everything. Will they be paying VAT and will they be paying corporation taxes?’

Mr Kimber added: ‘If the Isle of Man wants a big operator to move here I don’t think you can do it on your own. What’s going on in the other jurisdictions is a PLC deal as it is . The whole country is anteing up from the Treasury to the passport office to various other parts of government.

‘And its a negotiation and it’s a targeted, long negotiation. I think there are people unhappy in other places and they may be able to come here.

‘But the government here has got to look at it as a negotiation and be flexible.’

Mr Hofmann added: ‘In a changing environment when things are getting tougher it makes sense to look at your unique selling points.

‘Why did companies come to the Isle of Man in the early days , why are they staying here? You might find answers you cannot imagine.

‘There are great and good arguments that distinguish the island from other jurisdictions so this is something we can focus on, on the side of improving the existing scheme.

‘On the other hand there are opportunities that apply to every market.

‘Also get technical people to come to the island including [people involved in] digital currencies.’

‘ This is my first time inthe island and I can say the environment needs to be attractive to someone that moves to the island. It’s a very lovely island apart from the weather today.’

threats

Mr Mummery then raised the question of threats to the gaming sector and the people in the sector that have strong roots here and are happy to be here.

‘We need to be mindful that the threats come from a different economic sector - one example is potentially Moneyval Five. This is where the exocet is going to come from and could blow an industry out of the water.’

[Moneyval is the term known as the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, a monitoring body of the Council of Europe.]

jobs

Mr Greenhill pointed out: ‘This is all wider than the cost of a licence for example.

‘What makes an economy grow here is jobs and creating jobs in the island.

‘Those jobs could be with software suppliers just as they can be with operators. It’s that total jobs growth we are very interested in .’

Archie Watt told how in the early days of his career he worked in Aberdeen.

He pointed out how the Scottish city turned itself from being an outpost to a centre of oil exploration and knowledge.

And he believed the island could look to the Aberdeen experience in terms of the eGaming industry.

Mr Watt said the island will never grow to being a two million population.

But he believed to get a 100,000 population would be a major achievement.

‘That’s 20,000 over what we have at the moment.’

He added: ‘We actually have a government that listens here in the Isle of Man’.

Mr Mummery said: ‘I don’t think our economic imperatives under the 20/20 plan are achievable unless we get our heads around this.

An extra 20,000 skilled people needed

‘We need an extra 20,000 people, but they don’t need to be pensioners or children, they need to be economically active with skills but we need them because the economic growth we are basing ourselves upon is not achievable. I know it’s unpalatable in some quarters but we absolutely need that influx of 20,000 skilled people.’

To this Mr Greenhill from the government said: ‘We are different to some other offshore jurisdictions because we have the capacity to grow here. We have the space here and the ability to build here. That’s not the same in the other offshore jurisdictions.’

Mr Kimber interjected: ‘We have enough empty houses to put them all in!’

KPMG’s Mr Kelly said: ‘You can’t underestimate the power of a clustering effect. That’s how gaming came here. A few key players in the industry set up in the Isle of Man and it brought other people with them and they promoted the island and we have also seen it with our manufacturing industry and our aerospace cluster here.

‘Then look at Indian real estate listed businesses.

‘One came here and now they are all set up here and listed here. Once they have a route to market and know other people are doing that it drives the business here.’

Mr Greenhill said: ‘That’s exactly the approach we are taking with the wider ebusiness part of the economy and especiall y with digital currencies, to establish that small cluster and grow from there. It is a major opportunity.

Mr Hofmann raised the question of education and linking in with educational establishments. He said this was about creating leaders of the future.

Hilary Stewart-Jones also suggested there could be future workshops in the island to discuss gaming matters

She said people in the industry sometimes felt a bit unloved and it would help morale to gather more often.

ICT UNIVERSITY

Mr Greenhill pointed out that there were plans going to a vote in Tynwald for an ICT university funded by the private sector.

Such a centre would help attract people to study here and they see the benefits of the island.

Garth Kimber: ‘And a profitable business if you run the university well.

Mr Kelly pointed out that people often stayed on after their studies in universities.

‘You can’t get away from the number of people who stay in a university town. Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, the people stay there after being at university there.’

‘Mr Watt: ‘And you can build ancillary services around that. More jobs created and more revenue.’

Mr Greenhill said the prospects were looking very strong.

And Mr Hofmann told as an example how he went to study at Heidelberg University in Germany and stayed.

He said he fell in love with the place and the same could happen with the Isle of Man if an ICT university gets the go-ahead.

But Garth Kimber came in with a note of caution: ‘That will be a real test for the island; whether we are beginning to develop strategy and understanding at a political level that matches what business needs.’

Ernest Matthews suggested there were opportunities to benefit from the island offering its expertise in technical matters to other jurisdictions.

He said: ‘There is a credibility here, public sector departments marketing their experience and services to those countries wishing to move from the grey to regulated gaming markets, and it would be a way to generate additional activity for the Isle of Man.

‘I have travelled to many jurisdictions that are trying to find their way without any real internal experience to call on in the process.’ He believed there were a lot of countries that might take up technical help from Isle of Man experts.

Garth Kimber sought clarification. They sell their expertise? Ernest Matthews replied: ‘Yes at a cost effective rate and do so for fewer dollars an hour than some companies do now.’

‘It would provide assistance getting their regulatory scheme together.’

To this Garth Kimber replied: ‘I know of two countries that would take that tomorrow morning and have indeed asked for help in setting that up.’

Mr Greenhill pointed out: ‘Up to now we have provided that support but have provided it for free to help, but I understand the possibilities.

[Since this discussion, Tynwald has voted overwhelmingly to support a plan to sell the Nunnery for £5m to a company now leading a project to create an IT centre of excellence.]

UNITED STATES

Attention then turned to the United States of America.

And the message from Ernest Matthews was that it will be ‘a while before they [the USA] get their heads round it. The political climate is not ripe right now.’ He said a lot of states in America were awaiting a decision from New Jersey. [A US District Judge has delayed a decision over whether to allow New Jersey to offer legal sports betting services to consumers located inside the US state.]

Mr Greenhill said a difficulty in setting up eGaming in America is that: ‘It’s state by state really.

Bill Mummery said: ‘Cross -border co-operation for liquidity would be essential.

Mr Greenhill said: ‘If each individual state demands you have servers and people paying bonds to the local governments nobody will set up in the smaller states there.’ [In America]

Mr Kelly said: ‘California is a top 10 global economy and big enough to sustain on its own. But other states are just not that big.’ Ernest Matthews said: ‘California is the seventh largest economy in the world’.

Bill Mummery said that from his point of view the analogy he would use is: ‘Thirty years ago people were talking about the People’s Republic of China and asking could we afford to go in there?

‘From my point of view the only people that needed to be there were the global brands such as Coke and the Ford Motor Company. It was a perceived opportunity and not a deliverable opportunity and I think for many companies the US in our sector will remain exactly that.

‘You can burn an awful lot of money being busy fools.

‘There are very few of us that can commit [to the USA] at this moment in time.

Mr Kimber:‘Ultimately the only companies that will make any money in America are American companies. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea’.

IT’S A WRAP

Each member of the round table discussion was asked to sum up about their views about the future for the industry in the Isle of Man and the key challenges.

Bill Mummery: ‘Cautiously optimistic and the challenges invariably will be around managing the international regulatory landscape.’

Garth Kimber: I’m cautiously optimistic but the challenges around government as a whole getting itself a policy to grow . . . rather than being scared of losing a pound, we have to as an island start going hard at trying to make a pound.

‘And I’m sure we will get to that point and gaming will be healthy because there are propositions out there, but as I said earlier they are not all in Peter’s [Greenhill] hands so a lot of different departments and people have got to get themselves together to make it happen. But I think that will happen.’

Hilary Stewart-Jones: ‘I suppose that the biggest impediment remains the VAT issue and I think that when Peter spoke earlier of weighing up the cost of the licenseing fee it is a piffling sum of money in the grand scheme of things so I don’t think that will make a great deal of difference and everyone will come flooding in off the back of that.

‘Try and think laterally in some way of having some VAT arbitrage. [It] will make a big big difference to some people when choosing to come to the Isle of Man rather than somewhere else.’

Mr Hofmann: ‘It’s my first visit here. It makes sense to keep and improve the assets you have in the island. Try and be ahead of everybody else, looking at new trends and new technology and new business opportunities.

Ernest Matthews: ‘I’m optimistic because having been here a number of occasions there is an amazing amount of talent per square foot on the island.

‘You’ve got an opportunity a lot of other governments don’t have and that’s the ability to pivot these new opportunities quickly. Instead of captaining a large, slow moving battleship, the Isle of Man is more like a speedboat.

‘You see this new opportunity over here. You guys can sit around and if you want to you can put the machinery in pretty quickly and faster than other governments. That gives you staying power through the ability to quickly adjust.’

Archie Watt: ‘I’m cautiously optimistic and I think the industry could pull together more and start thinking about what it could site on the island rather than what it could site elsewhere.

‘Because the island is friendly to gaming and other territories around the globe are becoming less friendly.’

Russell Kelly: ‘I remain optimistic for the sector. I do think the key thing we have to do is stay at the very front of the pack. We have to be innovative but maintain our integrity and really move very very quickly, which we can do, to stay in that leading position’.

Peter Greenhill: ‘I share that optimism but in a difficult market. As I said before things are changing rapidly and a lot of things are outside our control. But if we look at the things we do incredibly well in the island, and its something that gets mentioned outside as being the public private partnership and it’s almost scorned in the UK because there it never works.

‘On the Isle of Man it does work. We have groups of people that really do come together to try and push the island forward. That’s the sort of thing that will help us to get through this and get through the difficulties in other markets and move us forward.

‘So I am very optimistic about that working but recognising that each element of that public private partnership actually might be pulling in slightly different directions for their own individual needs. It’s a matter of bringing that together and finding a common way forward.

‘That’s my task going forward I suppose.’

Ernest Matthews

Ernest Matthews

Hilary Stewart-Jones

Hilary Stewart-Jones

Peter Greenhill

Peter Greenhill

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