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Chairman sought for Gambling Control Commissioners 16 July 2007

CHAIRMAN of the Gambling Control Commissioners, Jane O’Rourke, will step down from her role at the end of August, and the Isle of Man Government has begun the process of recruiting her replacement.

Ms O’Rourke has said that she has been very much encouraged at the progressive trend which has been adopted in the area of regulation of the gambling industry and is pleased to note that further effective and relevant legislation will come into force this summer.

She commented:

‘We have seen the introduction of useful regulations which make the task of regulating the gambling industry more meaningful and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work in such a dynamic and evolving field. In the course of attending international conferences I have been proud to see that the Isle of Man and its regulatory regime is held in high international regard and this is due to the considerable effort which has been expended by this jurisdiction to ensure that we remain a tier one regulatory regime. Further changes to the way in which licences are granted will only enhance this perception. We are fortunate to attract those members of the industry who themselves understand that effectively regulated operations reap commercial rewards and whose commitment to upholding the reputation of the Isle of Man is uppermost in their strategic planning.’

Having been appointed a Gambling Control Commissioner in 2002, Ms O’Rourke took on the role of Chairman in January 2005 but she feels that her personal circumstances at present do not permit her the opportunity to continue in post beyond August.

‘As a family we have been taking the opportunity to explore something of French life and education and whilst this has been compatible with my role as Chairman on a short term basis, it presents logistical difficulties,’ she explained.

Home Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle MHK paid tribute to the outgoing chairman. He said:

‘I am very grateful for Ms O’Rourke’s leadership through this period of evolution of our gambling industry supervision and for her commitment to ensuring that the Isle of Man remains a tier one regulatory jurisdiction. I wish her and her family well in their new life in France.’

The new Chairman must be legally qualified and will head up a body to be known as the Gambling Supervision Commission. It is felt that this move will bring the gambling regulatory body closer in line with the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission, the body governing financial services, and will assist the jurisdiction in presenting a more cohesive regulatory stance across industries which share some common characteristics. A Member of the Commissioners is also being sought.

Background information

The Gambling Control Commissioners are appointed by the Council of Ministers under the Casino Act 1986. Their principal functions are to:

  • Licence and supervise most forms of gambling in the Isle of Man.
  • Investigate the character and financial status of any person applying for or holding any gambling licence issued under its remit.
  • Ensure that all fees, royalties and other monies payable to the Treasury are duly paid and accounted for.

The Gambling (Amendment) Act 2006, shortly to be brought into force, will broaden the duties of the Gambling Control Commissioners and rename the body the Gambling Supervision Commission.

The Commissioners consists of a Chairman, who must be legally qualified (i.e. an advocate, barrister or solicitor of not less than 10 years’ standing) and four other members, all appointed by the Council of Ministers.

Commissioners hold office for a five year term and vacancies have arisen for a Chairman and a Commission Member.

Other than the requirement for the Chairman to be legally qualified, people interested in membership of the Commission do not need any formal qualifications. Council of Ministers will be looking for people who have appropriate experience, particularly of online gambling or gambling business, to assist the Commission in the exercise of its statutory functions.

If you are interested please contact Jeanette Williams, Director of Policy, Chief Secretary’s Office, Government Office, Bucks Road, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 3PG, telephone 01624 685704, or e-mail: jeanette.williams@cso.gov.im to be sent an information pack. Alternatively an information pack can be downloaded at www.gov.im/cso.

The closing date for applications is Friday 3rd August 2007.

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