Antigua and Barbuda has seen a tremendous increase in the number of online gambling operators expressing interest in becoming licensed by the small Caribbean island nation.
The independent state of only 84,500 people was added to the UK Department of Culture Media and Sport’s “white-list” in late-November, which means that remote gaming operators based in the country could advertise their services to consumers in Great Britain.
According to a report from the Antigua Sun newspaper, while the Government could not give figures as to how many inquiries have been made, budgetary projections based on what has been logged show an increase of 100 % so far.
Kaye McDonald, Director of Gaming for the former British colony, stated that the rise in interest was down to the ‘white-listing’ along with the fact that operators could feel secure in knowing that they were working within a world-class regulatory environment with a ‘superb e-services infrastructure’.
She stated that the listing with UK authorities would also help create employment as operators relocate staff to the two main islands following their licensing. “Obviously, to have a gaming company operating in Antigua means more than just having the hardware equipment here,” said McDonald.
“Key personnel, key management and key operators are required to be in Antigua and Barbuda. This is of utmost importance.” McDonald stated that, according to some reports she had seen, the current global economic slowdown was influencing the gaming industry to some degree.
“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,” concluded McDonald.