Isle of Man government welcomes 'poker tourism'

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The Manx government has welcomed a gambling tournament which is expected to attract "hundreds" of poker tourists to the island this month.

The main festival event, which will be held at the Villa Marina in Douglas, carries a of prize of £500,000.

The tournament will be hosted by e-gaming firm, PokerStars, which moved its headquarters to the island in 2005.

Head of Isle of Man tourism, Angela Byrne said: "The event will give us a welcome boost for our visitor numbers."

She added: "I believe there could be as many as three to four hundred people coming over for the event and we know the island will give them a warm welcome. That's one of the things we are really well known for."

PokerStars said in addition to the main event there will also be a Manx charity fundraising evening and a job fair showcasing e-gaming employment opportunities.

Head of the Sefton hotel group, Adrian Brockhouse said it could become a permanent feature if it's successful.

"It would boost tourism for the island during what is traditionally a quiet time," he continued.

"Recent changes to gambling legislation allows the Palace Casino to hold a Temporary Premises Certificate, which means we can temporarily licence a venue for gaming activities, such as poker."

The Isle of Man poker event is part of the UK & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) and will take place between 30 October and 4 November.

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