Caribbean Internet gambling jurisdiction reports rising interest from operators

Achieving white listing status from the UK authorities that has enabled its licensees to advertise in the United Kingdom has proved to be a real advantage for the Caribbean island licensing jurisdiction of Antigua, reports local newspaper The Antigua Sun this week.

Kaye McDonald, the director of gaming for the government's Financial Services Regulatory Commission, told the newspaper that her department is currently busy processing and reviewing inquiries from a slew of new operators interested in becoming licensed in Antigua and Barbuda.

Although she could not give a figure on how many inquiries have been received, McDonald said budgetary projections, based on what has so far been logged, show a significant increase of 100 percent.

After initially being excluded from the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport white list (see previous InfoPowa reports) the Antiguan government appealed the decision and negotiated its way on to the list late in November this year. By becoming white listed, remote gaming operators based in the islands were allowed the opportunity to advertise their services to consumers in the UK.

McDonald said it was additionally a form of endorsement for Antigua's regulatory regime, and that it could be an element in the increased interest in the island jurisdiction. But she also noted that her department's upgrade in the licensing and regulatory requirements had played a role in raising the profile of the country and creating meaningful business interest.

The potential of more operators creating better employment opportunities was touched on by McDonald, who said: "Obviously, to have a gaming company operating in Antigua means more than just having the hardware equipment here. Key personnel, key management and key operators are required to be in Antigua and Barbuda; this is of utmost importance."

McDonald told the Antigua Sun that the global recession had "to some degree" affected the gaming industry judging by the reports she had seen, but she added: "It is also widely believed that the gaming industry is the last to go into recession because some persons, when dealing with certain pitfalls look towards entertainment."

Antigua and Barbuda will be exhibiting at the ICE(i) show in London late January, along with other jurisdictions such as Malta, the Isle of Man and Alderney.

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