It was announced this week that the Isle of Man has entered a fourth decade of unbroken economic growth; GDP reached £4.32bn in 2013-2014 with indications of further economic growth since that data….something as an Isle of Man resident of over 20 years, I am very proud to have been part of…though sadly, a very ,very small part!
Putting aside this excellent news, one of the underlying messages in the Island’s growth performance is of real interest; E-Gaming has become the largest business sector for the first time with a 16.7 per cent sector share…again great news from an Isle of Man perspective.
However, this brings me to the conundrum…is the world better with a high performing E-gaming sector or worse for it? My argument is for the positive message in that it is excellent for the economy.
If I look around the streets of the Isle of Man, I see a diverse nature of age groups, an increased amount of “techie” individuals wearing their hoodies and training shoes and fewer “stuffed shirts” (I can say this being one myself), a difference from the “original” finance sector, which can only be good.
The Isle of Man has been and still is a very innovative jurisdiction that has been fleet of foot, with the successful e-gaming industry being a case in point. We have a significant job market from the sector, the industry has created wealth that is reinvested back into the islands economy and, I suspect a good number of private clients from the sector have been serviced by the legal community, tax advisors and corporate services business during the time in which this market has grown.
Gaming businesses have invested significantly into local sport on the island and their work in the local charity community is a compliment to us all…we should be proud of this sector’s performance and the underlying performance of the Isle of Man as an economy.
When I moved to the island all those years ago, we had a successful banking sector, a growing corporate service and trust industry and a strong insurance sector. With E-gaming surpassing these sectors as the stronger performer, what will we be seeing in another 20 years? A Fintech industry that is the biggest on the island or a global crowd-funding sector with the Isle of Man sitting at its core?… I can only look forward to the next 20 years with excitement!
Senior Manager, Abacus Trust Company Limited