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The island nation of Antigua and Barbuda is enjoying a boom in its online casino
gambling industry. The recent approval by the British Department of Culture, Media, and Sport of the country’s system of regulation and licensing of Internet casinos has caused a number of online gambling operators to make inquiries about locating their businesses in Antigua.
The Antigua Sun reported that the Financial Services Regulatory Commission is estimating a budgetary increase of 100% for the next fiscal year, based on the number of online casinos UK expressing interest. The granting of “white-listing” by the United Kingdom is seen as the dominant factor in the surge. By subjecting themselves to Antiguan regulation, Internet gambling sites now have the ability to advertise in the UK.
White-listing certifies that Antigua applies stringent regulatory measures on Internet gambling operations based in the country, including safe-guarding for age verification, prevention of money laundering, and honest, reliable games and payment systems.
The irony is that the Antiguan economy was dealt a crippling blow by the US government, which banned such operations because of worries about uncontrolled gambling sites. As a result, US patrons are faced with an increasingly unsafe environment for Internet gambling, while Antigua offers exactly the protection customers need.
Kaye McDonald, director of gaming for the Antiguan commission, said the new arrivals would provide needed jobs and revenue for the country. She said that licensing requirements will put the operators of the new grand casino within Antiguan jurisdiction. “Key personnel, key management and key operators are required to be in Antigua and Barbuda. This is of utmost importance.”