Jobs gloom at e-gaming firm
Published on Saturday 23 July 2011 06:45
STAFF at a Douglas-based online gaming company say they are expecting redundancies.
188BET, whose head office is registered at Clinch’s House on Lord Street, offers an on-line casino as well as betting on sports worldwide from football to motor racing.
The company also has several centres in Asia, including the Philippines and Singapore.
About 35 people are employed by the company in the Isle of Man – and iomtoday understands staff have been told there will be redundancies.
No-one was available at the Isle of Man office to comment on the situation, however the company released the following statement through its public relations agency: ‘188BET is currently undergoing a strategic review of each area of its global activity as part of an internal restructuring of the business.
‘Having established itself as a leading brand in the global gaming market through innovative partnerships with a number of Premier League Football clubs, 188BET is now considering how best to deploy the company’s resources for the next phase of the brand’s growth.
‘The review is expected to be concluded within the next month.’
The organisation sponsors football teams Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic and is the official betting partner of Chelsea, Liverpool and several other association football clubs.
The company is owned by Cube Ltd which is licensed and regulated by the island’s Gambling Supervision Commission.
News of uncertainty at one of the main players in the Manx e-gaming sector will come as a blow to the government which has identified e-gaming as a key area for expansion and just this week launched a new licence aimed at attracting more operators to the island,
The network services licence is designed to recognise business-to-business gaming operators (see page 2).
Last week, the Manx authorities also said UK proposals to regulate offshore online gambling should not be seen as a threat. The UK Government has announced plans to introduce laws forcing all gambling operators with British customers to obtain UK licences, irrespective of where those companies are based.
But Garth Kimber, the Manx Government’s head of e-gaming said the Gambling Supervision Commission would remain the prime regulator in the island.
However this move could still reduce revenue to Manx coffers if British players had to pay duty in the UK rather than the island.
The e-gaming industry brings in about ￡4.2 million in revenue from players around the world.
Economic Development Minister Allan Bell MHK said he had received assurances from the UK there will be a ‘lighter touch approach’ to the island’s industry and there was recognition of the high level of regulation here.
Meanwhile, staff at finance firm Credit Suisse are facing an uncertain future.
Despite rumours of job losses and in the Isle of Man and that staff have been told the island operation is to be scaled back, a Credit Suisse spokesman refused to comment on redundancies, opting instead to say: ‘We continue to be proactive about monitoring the size of our business relative to client opportunities and market conditions.
‘This involves realigning resources to growth areas and adjusting capacity to meet client needs and to manage costs across the business.’
Nine jobs were lost at the financial services firm when the company announced, in September 2009, it had decided to move its trust operation from Victoria Street, Douglas, to Guernsey.
The company employs 42 people in the island and operates from an office in North Quay, Douglas.