Celton Manx has been awarded the live dealer licence

A European subsidiary of the First Cagayan licensed online bookmaker SBObet, Celton Manx, has been awarded the first Isle of Man licence to operate a live dealer casino from the island, which is in the Irish Sea close to the UK.

SBOBet was in the European headlines recently when it became principal sponsor of Barclays Premier League football team West Ham United and launched its European sports book operation.

Plans are in hand for the group's Internet casino to start operations in Q2 of 2009.

Celton Manx executive director Bill Mummery - himself an ex-IOM regulator - said: "What's significant is that this is the first occasion the Isle of Man as a licensing regulator has gained comfort with a business model where the management and all the systems are in the Isle of Man, but the live dealer studio will be elsewhere."

The company will use its own live dealer room, equipped with 30 tables and 90 cameras and situated in the Philippines, he revealed.

Isle of Man regulators travelled to Asia last year to physically inspect the facilities used in the live dealer offering. "We spent three or four days going through our live dealer operation in considerable detail to demonstrate to them the controls, the due diligence, the security, and those issues," said Mummery. "The regulators have been able to do their checks and due diligence on our live dealer facility prior to granting the approval."

Following on the recent licensing of the Swedish NYX Interactive company's plans to operate from the Isle of Man, the Celton approval will benefit the island's local e-gaming industry, too.

"I believe there's a broader benefit for the Isle of Man from this in terms of attracting other operators, While it benefits my business, it also adds a significant plus factor to the offering the island has as a jurisdiction," Mummery concluded.

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