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Online Casino News - September, 2009

Antigua Online Casinos in the Clear Despite Stanford


  Seed Newsvine

by Edward Rogers, News Staff Writer

September 3, 2009

The tiny Caribbean island of Antigua & Barbuda has long been known as a haven for offshore online casinos seeking to do legitimate business. In fact, Antigua, along with the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, was the first legitimate licensor of online betting destinations, ranging from sportsbooks to online poker rooms, back when online gambling first started getting popular in the late nineties. Antigua simply was the place to go for true regulation, unlike Costa Rica, which simply handed out licenses.

Of course, that all changed when other areas of the world began to pass online gambling legislation, calling for the creation of their very own regulatory commissions. Take the UK, for example. Being a world leader, the UK passed the UK Gambling Act 2005 with provisions calling for online gambling regulation, and has hence served as a magnet for online casinos seeking the highest credibility obtainable, albeit extremely high taxation is now beginning to drive off top name brands.

In other words, Antigua and Barbuda's online gambling landscape is not like it used to be. That doesn't mean they've lost credibility in the internet betting world. Even though Antigua (along with Kahnawake, interestingly enough) had to fight to get on the UK's online gambling whitelist - thus allowing Antigua licensed online casinos to advertise in the UK - they got on it, nonetheless. Yet, there are certainly fewer operators based out of Antigua these days - and no thanks to the passing of the UIGEA, a.k.a. attempted U.S. online gambling ban.

The one thing that did look like it might possibly hurt Antigua's credibility was the recent financial banking scandal at the hands of billionaire banker Allen Stanford. Largely based out of Antigua, Standford's bank, Stanford Financial, was shut down when U.S. authorities uncovered an eight billion dollar investment scheme.

The good news is that Stanford refused to do business with any online casinos or gambling-related businesses for that matter, citing his Southern Baptist convictions. Never mind the fact that Stanford is being sued by the Las Vegas Bellagio casino resort for over a quarter of a million dollars in unpaid gambling markers, aka casino credits to gamble with. Still, this means no tied-up assets for Antigua-based internet betting operators and their players. If anything, the scandal has prompted the Antiguan government to take a closer look at how their Financial Services Regulatory Commission oversees financial matters. Online gambling regulation goes on in Antigua...and rightfully so.



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