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Antigua - World's First Online Gambling Jurisdiction

By: Racheal Adams, Wednesday November 12th 2008
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The island country of Antigua and Barbuda was the first to license and regulate online gambling. It became the world's first online gambling jurisdiction in 1994 and was responsible for giving the initial fillip to the online gambling industry. It remains the one of the most reputed gambling jurisdictions.

In the jurisdiction of Antigua & Barbuda the regulatory body is the Division of Gaming, which has been formed under the Financial Services Regulatory Commission. It is responsible for the supervision and control of the online gambling industry in the jurisdiction of Antigua and Barbuda under the framework that has been provided in the Interactive Gaming and Interactive Wagering Regulations. The online gaming companies are classified as financial institutions and are subject to stringent laws such as the Anti-Money Laundering and Caribbean Financial Action Task Force laws. About 50 online gambling organizations are registered in Antigua, many of them being powered by Playtech. The reason that Antigua is one of the best gaming jurisdictions is that it enforces corporate integrity and best management practices in its licensees. It has a three-pronged focus that includes prevention of money laundering, enhancement of the online gambling industry and above all player protection. Some of the notable practices that the licensees of Antigua have to follow are establish procedures regarding "Know Your Customer" and have their accounts audited by external auditors who also have to certify their solvency, safety, player protection and compliance with the regulations of the jurisdiction.

The online casino licensed by Antigua got a jolt when the United States prevented its citizens from participating in online gambling activity. These licensees suffered heavy revenue losses since they had a significant American clientele. Antigua took the issue to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO ruled in the favor of Antigua. The ruling was subsequently upheld by the Appellate Body of the WTO. The ruling called for the United States to pay a monetary compensation to Antigua for lost revenue sand to allow its citizens to use the online casinos licensed by Antigua. Unfortunately the United States did neither. Antigua has since then made several attempts to negotiate directly with the United States but to no avail. A few months ago Antigua's effort got a boost when the European Union decided to raise the issue with the United States because their online casinos too were suffering. However the present administration in the United States is adamant.

Antigua has recently received good news. It has been approved on the "white list" of the United Kingdom. This is a list of gambling jurisdictions whose licensees are allowed to advertise their services in the United Kingdom media. The United Kingdom is a growing market for online gambling and Antigua's licensees will definitely benefit from this move.

For more information about Antigua and Barbuda we recommend checking out the following resources for more information about this online casino & gambling jurisdiction:

Top online casinos licensed in Antigua and Barbuda include:

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