Antigua Tightens Regulations on Internet Gambling

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The Directorate of Gaming, a branch of the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) has announced that regulations for the online gaming industry in Antigua and Barbuda have been tightened-up.

According to the Web site, the Directorate has said all gaming establishments on the island are subjected to the same regulations as any financial institution here. These include strict anti-money laundering procedures, countermeasures to terrorist funding moves, and protocols stating companies must "know their client"; all of these are continuously validated by ongoing external audits.

Kaye McDonald, Antigua and Barbuda's director of gaming, was quoted as saying, "Our regulatory model is founded on three distinct pillars: prevention of money laundering; licensee integrity, transparency and accountability; and, above all, safeguarding the interests and well-being of the players. Our licensees work with us collaboratively to continuously improve compliance measures - they recognise that a strong regulatory system protects their players and enhances the credibility of the industry in general, which is in everyone's mutual interest."

The FSRC has also launched a new monitoring programme which utilises information systems and computer assisted auditing techniques that are specific to the online gaming industry. These procedures enable the body to actively monitor the complex businesses of the licensees and ensure satisfaction of the compliance requirements.

These include the "white listing" criteria that have been laid out by the UK government; only when all are satisfied can a country from outside the European Economic Area advertise in the UK. The new system, according to McDonald, was the product of active collaboration with the Directorate's licensees.

Antigua and Barbuda is also different to other jurisdictions in that it demonstrates a commitment to potentially vulnerable players. This was done through the establishment of the Responsible Gambling and Gambling Addiction Research and Education Fund (GAREF). All gaming licensees on the island are required to contribute to the fund as a condition of licensing.

"The ongoing improvements to our statutory requirements ensure that our licensees comply with internationally accepted best practices, and further affirms their commitment to socially responsible practices," McDonald stated.

Source:  Antigua Sun

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