Isle of Man Issues “Skin-Betting” License
For those unfamiliar with the term, “skin betting” refers to the practice of trading alternative design schemes - known as “skins” - as a form of currency.
Recently we’ve seen an explosion in unconventional methods of wagering as players embrace the idea of having more anonymity and control over their funds, with the most notable form of this ever-increasing dynamic being the rapid adoption of blockchain technology within online cashiers.
But now, the idea of an alternative currency is going even one-step further, as the Isle of Man recently issued the first ever “skin-betting” license to the eSportsPools website owned by ESP.bet.
What is Skin Betting?
For those unfamiliar with the term, “skin betting” refers to the practice of trading alternative in-game design schemes – known as “skins” – as a form of currency:
While that might sound strange at first, the reality is that these skins have value within the communities that trade them. The simplicity of exchanging them makes it a logical step to begin using them in lieu of cash or any other form of digital currency.
Preparing for the Future
In explaining the decision to create such a license, the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission explained that its goal is to be out in front of technological developments in order to better protect players.
It’s a wise and welcome decision. The reality is that this type of trading is already widely occurring as a workaround to draconian payment processing restrictions by players in some jurisdictions. Rather than stick their heads in the sand, The Commission is putting safety and security first.
ESP.bet’s CEO Scott Burton emphasized that fact in recent comments he made about the company’s decision to acquire the license:
“To date, eSports betting and the gambling of virtual goods has largely been a grey market, with a lot of unregulated operators failing to protect their customers. We’ve always taken a more transparent approach, undertaking ‘know your customer’ checks to verify age and running a really clear game system. With this licence, that work has been validated and I feel like we have taken the first step towards building a regulated marketplace that is safe for consumers, businesses, and investors,” he said.