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Content is king, but only if licensed?

Chris Reilly, Group Commercial Director, SolutionsHub

Chris Reilly, Group Commercial Director for SolutionsHub, has a passion for assisting businesses flourish in the Isle of Man.

As a former Strategic Parter for the Isle of Man Digital Agency, Chris has an invaluable perspective on challenges facing the egaming industry and how a licence can facilitate growth.


In an increasingly competitive marketplace, how do you showcase the quality of your company and services? How do you set yourself apart from the competition?


In recent years we have seen a growing number of more progressive games developers, distributors, re-sellers and software providers adopting Software Supplier Licenses (B2B Licence) in the Isle of Man.


Obtaining a B2B licence isn’t a legal requirement and carries additional regulatory burden, so it is clear that trust and credibility have become extremely important within the industry. There are also significant commercial and operational advantages as well as advanced exit planning solutions.


How important is trust and credibility?

Building trust is crucial in an increasingly competitive market. Suppliers and clients alike are looking for reassurances that the companies they do business with are reliable and trustworthy.


Whilst there’s no legal requirement for a software provider to be licensed in order to sell their content, there is growing demand in the industry and if you want to do business with some of the biggest names, you really need to be licensed. A B2B licence demonstrates your adherence to corporate governance guidelines and regulatory standards.


Being licensed is now a pre-requisite if you want to provide content through some of the larger content aggregators or to some of the more well established B2C operators. It is crucial for reputable operators to avoid associations with companies that could tarnish their reputation, so that regulatory scrutiny increasingly extends to third-party suppliers.


Obtaining a software supplier license is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate that a developer’s structure and product have undergone scrutiny and pose no threat to AML/CFT concerns.


For software suppliers, aggregators and resellers an Isle of Man Software Supply Licence not only provides customers with reassurance, it’s a competitive advantage.


How does a licence directly increase sales and drive growth?


A Software Supplier Licence allows software developers to be included in a register of approved vendors and their content added to an approved software register.


Products on the list can be seamlessly integrated into any IOM licensee’s portfolio without the operator requiring additional testing certification, streamlining the deployment process and considerably reducing time to market.


As your business grows, sooner or later you’re going to get to a point where being licensed becomes necessary not because it’s a legal requirement, but because you need to be in order to work with the larger industry names. Those that aren’t licensed often miss out on opportunities to competitors that are.


Given the Isle of Man’s reputation for excellence and the lack of restrictions here, potential customers and partners recognise the value and credibility associated with a Software Supplier Licence, creating opportunities globally.


And then of course, there’s the money. Depending on where you’re licensed and where you’re providing content, often there are challenges when it comes to moving funds from one jurisdiction to another, which is why banking is so important.


Does a licence assist with banking?


Banking has always been challenging in this sector. With growing scrutiny on AML and restrictions in various other jurisdictions, this can be a real barrier for online gambling businesses.

In both established and emerging markets, banks and payment providers require reassurance, making it crucial for partners to maintain a good reputation. By acquiring a license from a reputable jurisdiction and subjecting themselves to the same level of scrutiny as operators, software providers can provide that reassurance.


The Isle of Man not only has a stellar reputation for excellence when it comes to online gambling regulation, it’s also a global financial services hub, which means that Gaming business is welcomed here and there are options available with reputable banking and payments providers.


Why is an exit strategy important?


Perhaps an exit strategy isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about whether or not to licence however, mergers and acquisitions have long been an integral part of the global online gambling industry, particularly for software suppliers.


For game developers seeking funding or intending to sell their business, obtaining a Software Supplier License is one way to assure potential buyers or investors of the company’s credibility.


Publicly listed companies require transparency and accountability, so if this is the endgame then licensing demonstrates that the company operates legally and transparently, providing confidence to potential investors.


How simple is the process?


The licensing process in the Isle of Man is simple and efficient, with one licence covering all gaming verticals.

A single licence means a single fee, whether you’re a games developer, software supplier, platform provider, live dealer studio, or you offer a broad range of services.

The application process itself is much simpler than that for a B2C operator and the turnaround is usually 12 weeks from submission to full hearing with the regulator.


Ultimately, obtaining a Software Supplier Licence isn’t just about legal requirements; it signals that your business operates transparently and ethically. It is a tactical move to build trust, open up strategic relationships with key players, and demonstrate your commitment to industry standards.


If you’d like to explore licensing in the Isle of Man further please visit the SolutionsHub website; or reach out directly to Chris Reilly, Group Commercial Director at SolutionsHub;


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