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The Suite Blog >> Is that Antigua & Barbuda I Hear Whining?

 

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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.

Originally published: June, 2009 | Categories: Gambling

 

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