Betting by blockchain in the Isle of Man

Thursday 7th November 2019 2:06 am
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Edoardo Narduzzi

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Jobs look set to be created after the island’s first sports betting business linked to the new technology known as blockchain was given the thumbs-up.

The Isle of Man Gambling Commission (GSC) has awarded a licence to RoBET which will eventually allow users to wager on a string of different sports including soccer, tennis, motor sport, rugby and basketball.

Lyle Wraxall, chief executive of Digital Isle of Man, an agency that comes under the umbrella of the Department for Enterprise, said: ’Digital Isle of Man is delighted to welcome RoBET to the Isle of Man as the first blockchain sports betting operator in our jurisdiction.’

He added that the agency is looking forward to supporting RoBET throughout its growth in the island.

RoBET’s registered office is at Millennium House, Victoria Road, Douglas.

The new business falls in line with calls made by Russell Kelly, managing partner of KPMG, in Business News last week, for e-gaming to widen its reach in the future.

In the article on the future of e-gaming Mr Kelly said: ’We should start to think about how we can encourage the diversification of the (e-gaming) sector here in the island through opportunities linked to blockchain, AI (artificial intelligence) and e-sports.’

He explained that the island has already licensed a blockchain lottery offering.

The online gaming industry has a 21% share in the island’s Gross Domestic Product. (GDP)

RoBET, described as a tech start-up, was founded by entrepreneur Edoardo Narduzzi.

SolutionsHub, an Isle of Man based authority that specialises in crypto and blockchain gambling licensing, has backed and helped RoBET with its application to get started in the island.

SolutionsHub chief operating officer Nick Wright said: ’We are delighted to have supported RoBET.’

He confirmed that RoBET ’will shortly be ’starting to build its presence here in the island’.

And he added that ’this will likely involve a number of hires in departments such as compliance, customer services etc’.

He said the new roles could be advertised in the future.

Mr Wright told Business News: ’The innovative nature of the technology and business model presents interesting challenges from a regulatory perspective, but as ever, we have worked closely with the GSC who have been very receptive and supportive, while ensuring the calibre of the licensee is suitable for the Isle of Man.

'The Isle of Man is proving to be the go-to jurisdiction for legitimate blockchain betting businesses due to its international reputation, speed to license within the publicised time-frames, cost effectiveness, and ability to engage with the regulator in meaningful, open and transparent dialogue.’

RoBET will allow users to bet on different sports, including 47 different national football competitions.

Customers will be able to use the platform with three different digital assets: RoBET’s own token, called RAC along with Ethereum and Bitcoin. SolutionsHub, based at Goldie Terrace, Douglas, is a consulting company in the crypto field.

RoBET founder Edoardo Narduzzi said: ’Being granted the first blockchain sports betting licence is an enormous achievement.

’RoBET is a smart-contract decentralised, blockchain-based ecosystem for sports betting, utilising artificial intelligence to help customers handle risk management, odds evaluation and odds comparison.’

Lyle Wraxall of the Digital Agency, who has a blockchain office team, said the island ’proactively seeks to meet the needs of innovative businesses’.

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