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Online Casino News - February, 2009

Seychelles Islands a New Home for Online Casinos


  Seed Newsvine

by Elizabeth Nguyen, News Staff Writer

February 1, 2009

There's more good news from the fronts of the online gambling industry's regulatory landscape. Another licensing jurisdiction has set up shop - and this time it's surprisingly not in the Caribbean (or in Costa Rica for that matter). Located approximately one thousand miles off the coast of Kenya in the Indian Ocean (Northeast Madagascar), the Seychelles island chain is the home of this brand new online casino licensor.

Under the Republic of Seychelles' newly enacted Interactive Gambling Act, online casinos and betting sites can apply for licenses to legally operate real money betting services under the supervision of a Seychelles regulatory authority. While any company can apply for a license, an agent residing in Seychelles must be appointed on behalf of the licensee. Online gaming licenses are granted upon a strict screening and background investigation of all individuals connected with the gaming operation, as well as approval of the software platform.

Ongoing compliance with regulatory laws will require each licensee to undergo annual audits, while the regulatory authority itself will have the power to undertake investigations and enforce compliance with operators. In other words, what a gaming regulator should be doing to begin with. For anyone familiar with the key points of Seychelles regulatory guidelines, it should be obvious to see the protocols are derived directly from Australia's gaming legislation.

So, what about this chain of coral islands called The Seychelles? Well, besides the fact that they truly beckon images of "paradise" with their tropical climate, blue waters and undeveloped, white beaches, the Seychelles is its own country with its own currency. In fact, Seychelles is the smallest nation in the world with its own currency. The only downer is that Seychelles is actually the most highly indebted country in the world. Per capita, the GDP sits at about 123%. I suppose you could say that makes the tiny self-sufficient islands even more deserving to tax and regulate online gambling. At least that helps explain the sudden move to begin regulating.

The good news is that the telecommunications industry in Seychelles is being liberalized in conjunction with online gaming regulatory efforts. The idea is to not only attract licensors, it's to get some of the online casino operators to set up shop in Seychelles and create jobs and additional revenue for the economy. Hey, if it worked for Antigua & Barbuda, then why not, right?



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