The purpose of the visit, which was organised by the Isle of Man Government's permanent Brussels office, was to promote the international interests of the Island's e-Gaming sector in the 500 million strong EU market, the largest single trading bloc in the world.
The Isle of Man's e-Gaming sector is flourishing and accounts for 8% of GDP, providing some 700 jobs on the Island. The visit also allowed for the Isle of Man to make the case that accelerated growth of the sector and high standards of consumer protection were not mutually exclusive.
Steve Brennan, Chief Executive of the Isle of Man's Gambling Supervision Commission, said: "This was an important set of engagements and I was struck by the openness of the EU Commission staff and their appetite for the type of external expertise that we are in a good position to offer, given our long-standing and successful track record in regulating this high-growth sector, to marry the interests of providers and the protection of consumers effectively."
Patrick Bourke, the Isle of Man's European Affairs Director, summed up: "It was a pleasure to welcome Steve and Tim [Craine] to Brussels. Their visit enabled the Brussels Office to demonstrate the real added value it can bring to the Island. The EU Institutions can appear, from the outside, as a difficult proposition in terms of engagement but the reality is somewhat different. With clear objectives, the Island can make its voice heard. As I said when I was first appointed, while we need to be mindful of our relative size and negotiating weight, the Island can and should be ambitious and confident in its international dealings, including with the EU."
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