The Manx e-Gaming Association (MeGA) Survey has been conducted since 2006. In each of these years each of its Members has given full co-operation providing MeGA with many years of consistent data for this important sector, which now contributes some 13.5% towards the Manx national income. The survey comprises sensitive economic data supplied by the Members, information provided by those involved with MeGA surveys since 2006, supplemented by intelligence from our contacts within the industry and additional research that considers new entrants and introducers of e-gaming business to the Island. Even more important, the detailed analysis of findings and the comments and suggestions made provide a valuable insight into how Government’s economic strategy can best be tailored to encourage further growth in this and other industries that are compatible with the Island.
This is MeGA's ninth Annual Report; conducted against the backdrop of ever increasing global legislation and regulation, a more burdensome tax backcloth and a generally difficult business environment. It is the first time concerns have been detected about the uncertain economic situation facing all business, both elsewhere and on the Isle of Man, including the egaming sector. Respondents to the survey were keen to discuss the implications of the changes facing their businesses and the need for a credible plan for dealing with the new circumstances. As is MeGA's usual practice, comments which may confer advantages to competitors have been redacted from this report. However, as has always been the case, the unexpurgated version was the basis for very frank and useful conversations with Government on measures to help the future development of the Island’s economy.
Online gaming in the Isle of Man is a key driver of economic growth, provider of excellent job opportunities and the foundation for the development of other sectors, particularly those requiring technically advanced, secure and reliable data storage and transmission. Some respondents to our survey commented that it is very hard to sell anything without a clear USP, particularly in a competitive environment and that the IOM’s USP is no longer clearly defined and articulated. However, there is a powerful counter-argument that considers that it is not possible to have a unique USP but that the Island’s strong overall package of attractions coupled with the space to grow and offer the opportunities to provide substance actually does provide an exceptional sales proposition.
Globally, the online gaming industry itself is certainly not in decline; it is continuing to enjoy a period of growth, albeit at a slower rate than previously, with markets in Asia now developing more rapidly than in Europe. This may in part be attributed to increasing and divergent regulation throughout Europe, which is restricting growth. Niche markets, such as sports betting and lotteries, continue to grow but changing laws and regulations, which vary between jurisdictions, make it complex, onerous and costly to operate on the global stage. The importance of recognising the global nature of business today and therefore the need to compare and compete with the best jurisdictions, not simply the nearby traditional competition, was stressed frequently.
View or download the full Report - 2015 MeGA Survey