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Online Casino News - April, 2009

Antigua Pledges Stricter Online Gambling Regulations


  Seed Newsvine

by Elizabeth Nguyen, News Staff Writer

April 14, 2009

As pressure continues to mount on Antigua's Directorate of Offshore Gaming (once the largest regulator of online casinos), the Caribbean nation has announced plans to tighten regulation protocols. An announcement made by Antigua and Barbuda's Director of Gaming, Kaye McDonald, confirms the new approach to regulation and compliance - an approach that places online casino operators under the same oversight that befalls Antigua's financial institutions no less.

A testament to the benefits of universal regulatory standards (tell that to the European Union), Antigua's announcement is no doubt in response to growing concern from UK gaming officials who first left Antigua off the infamous whitelist, thus preventing any Antiguan licensed betting operator from advertising in UK media outlets. Of course, after expressing great shock from not being included, Antigua beseeched UK officials to reconsider and the Caribbean island was later white-listed, albeit with a little reservation.

However, following the recent financial scandal inside Stanford International Bank (see news article, "Antigua on the Edge of UK Online Casino Whitelist"), reservation has turned into high speculation as some UK officials call for Antigua to impose more transparency on its gaming licensees if it seeks to remain on the UK whitelist.

This is obviously very important for Antigua, who has lost a considerable amount of business since the passing of the UIGEA in the U.S. As mentioned, Antigua's Gaming Director, Kaye McDonald, has already made the formal announcement that changes in regulatory protocol and compliance are on the way, primarily focusing on money laundering prevention, licensee accountability and transparency, and safeguarding all players and vulnerable persons. Furthermore, McDonald specifically said this compliance will include "white listing criteria mandated in the UK".

Now, if that's not a good case for universal regulation standards, I don't know what is. Thanks to the UK Gambling Commission - the world's preeminent online gambling regulator - higher standards of compliance are being met. Those jurisdictions which do not uphold these standards will simply fade away. Now, if only the European Union would take note, not to mention the U.S. itself, which apparently is expected to come around very soon.



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