Antigua and Barbuda is a known destination for a lot of online casino operators and bookmakers. For almost 30 years they have carefully regulated and monitored their activities to protect the player’s interest. The process of getting a license involves thorough background check up of the applicant and evaluation of its overall capabilities, both financial and personal. This has to be done to prevent future malicious behavior or failure of the entity by default. In 1994 the authorities of Antigua and Barbuda established the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC). Once licensed the entities receive the title Financial Institutions. The department responsible for the regulation of remote gaming and betting companies is called Interactive Gaming and Interactive Wagering Regulation. This includes online casinos and sportsbetting operators. In order to maintain its tier 1 status as an off-shore gaming jurisdiction in 2001 the legislation was extended with the Money Laundering Prevention Act (MLPA) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA, 2001).
The licensing process has 5 different segments which in effect are 5 different sets of documents which have to be filled in. It comprises all relevant necessary information of the owner, any related entities, the size of the entity in terms of how many players are expected to be serviced and the nature of the business itself. The available options for the nature of the business include: • A casino • Keno or lottery operations • Interactive Gaming or Interactive betting • Race Wagering or Wagering Operations • Manufacturing, assembling, selling, importing, supplying or repairing of gaming or gaming related machines, online-machines (Software).
Sportsbetting falls under the category of Interactive betting, whereas Horse Racing is part of the Race Wagering group. This is the reason why some bookmakers may not offer horse racing. However, a top tier bookmaker will usually have all licenses. This way they can have the best offer for a wider player pool. Once licensed the operators are still subject of regular audits and checkups to ensure maximum protection of the players and prevent any unwanted malicious or illegal behavior.
The Financial Services Regulatory Commission is on the right course to maintain and further improve their reputation. The betting and gaming market has experience an exponential increase in popularity. Antigua and Barbuda prove itself as a competent regulator to cope with the surge of new bookmakers. Instead of making the licensing procedure shorter to satisfy the willing licensees they upheld to their principles and did not made any changes to tradeoff their integrity. This is the only way to have all players protected and to enable them to enjoy in online betting without worrying about the safety of their resources.