The government of the Isle of Man is looking to plug a gap in its gambling regulations as they relate to bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Officials are currently weighing regulatory changes that would allow gambling services to accept digital currencies “as if they were cash”.
Specifically, the Isle of Man’s Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) wants to tweak the definition of “the deposit of money” currently on the books to include “the deposit of something which has a value in money or money’s worth”, which would cover digital currencies.
Mark Rutherford, deputy chief executive of the GSC, told CoinDesk that the move addresses “a small hook in our gambling law” – but one not necessarily being driven by demand from licensees.
According to Rutherford, no one is currently seeking approval to offer gambling denominated in digital currencies. He attributed this, in part, to the “significant challenges for any operator” looking to offer such services.
At the same time, he said, the Isle of Man government doesn’t want to impede any future economic development or technology innovation – hence, the move to plug the regulatory gap.
Last May, the quasi-independent Isle of Man made headlines when it announced that it had launched a blockchain trial in partnership with a local startup called Pythia.
The island’s Department of Economic Development has long sought a proactive stance on digital currencies, becoming an early mover in updating its regulations to account for the technology. Just over a year ago, the local government moved to bring domestic digital currency startups under the auspices of its anti-money laundering regulation.
Image via Shutterstock
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.