June 24, 2009 - Now, I'm not one
to complain or anything (Did you notice the tone of sarcasm?
If not, try reading out loud and imitating Gilbert Godfrey
at the same time), but I'm just a tiny bit annoyed with the
Antigua Offshore Gaming Directorate. Well, maybe I should
say I'm annoyed with the Antigua & Barbuda Financial
Services Regulatory Commission, and not necessarily the
offshore gaming branch. What I mean is that although the
Offshore Gaming Directorate falls under the domain of the
Financial Services Regulatory Commission, they are not one
and the same thing.
Where I'm going with this is this: The Head of
Antigua and Barbuda's Financial Services Regulatory
Commission, Leroy King, was recently implicated by U.S.
banking authorities of having knowledge of some recently
uncovered illegal banking activities and receiving
money, i.e., bribes, for turning a blind eye to said
activities. Basically, it was the downfall of banking
billionaire, Allen Stanford's pyramid scheme that drew
attention to King, since Stanford's banking empire is
largely based out of Antigua and Barbuda.
The ironic thing is that it was probably Antigua's
complaints about the passing of the U.S. Unlawful
Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and making claims
against the U.S. with the World Trade Organization that
prompted U.S. authorities to begin taking a closer look
at the Antigua's financial activities in the first
place. Can you say irony?
Now, not only does Antigua and Barbuda face a loss in
business because of the passing of the UIGEA, they face
a loss in credibility, and thus more business, because
of their insistence that the U.S. robbed the online
gambling friendly island of rightful licensing revenues.
And while the recent happenings with Mr. King and
Stanford do not necessarily reflect on the oversight
practices enforced by the Offshore Gaming Directorate,
it might be hard for some online casino operators to
disassociate the two.
So, I guess the moral of the story is that if you're
going to throw punches, make sure you don't have any
illegal weapons in the back seat of your car. Okay, that
analogy made absolutely no sense whatsoever. Let me
rephrase - If you are going to tell on somebody, make
sure you don't have anything to hide yourself. How's
that? While I'm totally pulling for Antigua and hoping
they are able to become a preeminent regulator of online
casinos, I don't feel nearly as sorry for them as I did
when the UIGEA first passed.
Let's start auditing the auditors folks. My advice to
Antigua is to take a look at the General Practices and
Code of Conduct imposed by
eCOGRA, and take some notes.
June, 2009 | Categories: