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Online Casino News - December, 2008

Online Casinos Take Note of Antigua's White-listing



  Seed Newsvine

by Devon Chappell, News Staff Writer

December 24, 2008

If there was ever a gaming jurisdiction that would stand to benefit from a white-listing by the UK Gambling Commission, it would apparently be none other than Antigua and Barbuda. As reported by the Antigua Sun recently, according to the Caribbean island's Financial Services Regulatory Commission, Antigua and Barbuda is up to their heads with inquiries and applications from new online gaming operators.

Exact figures were not reported by the Commission; However, the Director of Gaming for the Commission, Kaye McDonald, said that budgetary predictions show an increase of approximately 100%. There is also no word on just how many of the applicants are "green" or are simply changing jurisdictions for one reason or another. Antigua and Barbuda has long been the regulator of choice for the bulk of online casinos and gaming operations since the dawn of online gambling over a decade ago. That said, there may certainly be other incentives for established operators to change from a previously white-listed jurisdiction like the UK itself.

Initially left off the list, Antigua and Barbuda (along with the Kahnawake Gaming Commission) had hitherto been quite vocal expressing their disappointment with UK online gaming authorities. After making an appeal and undergoing negotiations with the UK Gambling Commission to get more up-to-speed with their advertising standards, Antigua and Barbuda was finally given the green light just late last month to permit its online casino licensees to advertise in the UK.

Considering the great drop in business that Antigua and Barbuda endured due to the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in the United States, the sparked interest in new licensees is very promising for Antigua's economy. McDonald said the white-listing has certainly raised the island's profile in the business world. More licensees means more employment opportunities in Antigua, for it's not just hardware equipment and servers that will find itself on the shores of Antigua. A physical managerial presence will obviously be required as well.

Along with other white-listed gaming jurisdictions like Malta, Alderney and Isle of Man (who recently passed new gaming legislation), Antigua and Barbuda has announced they will be at the upcoming International Casino Expo in London (late January 2009) to attract the attention of more potential licensees and get the word out to the online gambling community at large. Currently, a large number of top-rated online casinos hold their licensing in Antigua, including the EHGV group of online caisnos: English Harbour, Millionaire Casino and Super Slots.



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