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Kahnawake Collaborates with Antigua and Alderney

By: Ryan Alders, Sunday June 20th 2010
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The Kahnawake Gaming Commission has signed collaborative agreements with the Financial Services Regulatory Commission for Antigua and Barbuda and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. At a time when many countries, like the United States, suspect the ability of these gaming jurisdictions, such agreements demonstrate the strengthening of the global online gambling regulatory mechanisms.

Kahnawake and Antigua already had an earlier agreement that allowed the exchange of licensing information. The current Memorandum of Understanding takes the relationship further. Now an online gaming operator that holds a primary license in one of the two jurisdictions can obtain an inter-jurisdictional authorization from the other jurisdiction. The Memorandum of Understanding explains that a gaming operator who holds an "Inter-Jurisdictional Authorization" can be hosted in either jurisdiction. However, the regulatory body that issues the "Primary License" will regulate the operator’s activities in both jurisdictions. The agreement comes into effect 90 days from the date of signing, which should be some time in the middle of September. This time will enable both jurisdictions to amend their present regulations to allow for the collaboration.

The objective of the Memorandum of Understanding is to recognize that the different online gaming jurisdictions operate with the same objectives and are competent in their functioning. Therefore the due diligence carried out by one before issuing a license can be accepted by the others. This arrangement will also provide gaming operators considerable flexibility in their licensing and hosting processes.

Earlier this year, in May 2010, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission had initiated the process of collaboration with the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. In the first step the Memorandum of Understanding calls for the setting up of an "…efficient and reasonable channel for the exchange of information and material with respect to past, existing and prospective licensees for the purpose of ensuring effective regulation between both jurisdictions." Though the specific content and extent of collaboration detailed in the Memorandum of Understanding were not revealed in the public domain, there is no doubt that this will be followed up with an Antigua like agreement at a later date.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is the largest licenser of online gambling companies, at least among the three regulators in question. Some of the leading online gaming operators, including online casinos and poker rooms, carry its logo on their web sites. The Alderney Gambling Control Commission does not have the same global reach, but because of its white-list status in the United Kingdom it has wide acceptance in Europe. The Financial Services Regulatory Commission for Antigua and Barbuda was the first online gambling regulator. The passing of the UIGEA has hit it the hardest and it has been locked into a struggle with the US authorities for the past few years.

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