Antigua and Barbuda Licensing Requirements

Antigua and Barbuda were one of the first countries to recognize the potential of online gambling. In 1994 well before online gambling became popular Antigua became the world’s first licensing jurisdiction for internet bingo and gaming websites. To this day Antigua and Barbuda remain one of the most respected licensing jurisdictions in the world. The reputation stems from the fact that Antigua and Barbuda do everything possible to ensure all licensees offer safe honest games. In the 1990’s the government of Antigua set out to diversify their economy and built the framework for the online gaming industry.

In addition to being a top tourist destination the island is a Mecca for online bingo and gaming operators. Antigua’s reputation as a well regulated country for egaming operators contributed to the island’s economic success. In addition to online gaming Antigua is also host to other offshore businesses such as trust companies and financial institutions. Antigua provides two types of gaming licenses; one for interactive gaming such as internet bingo or casinos and licenses for interactive wagering such as sports betting. Remote gaming operators licensed in Antigua offer ‘account betting.’ This means that players at sites licensed in Antigua Barbuda must establish an account before any wagers can take place. The amount of a bet cannot exceed the funds in a player’s account and no credit is available to players. This policy helps to deter problem gamblers from gambling on credit.

Antigua gaming regulations include; Strict licensing requirements, player account regulations, age restrictions, responsible gaming and anti fraud and money laundering regulations. All involved in any remote gaming operation must undergo thorough background checks. Regulations are enforced by the Antiguan Directorate of Offshore Gaming. (Aka the “Directorate”) All of the regulations and license applications may be found at the official Antiguan Directorate of Offshore Gaming website.

A few years ago the government of Antigua Barbuda filed a complaint against the United States with the World trade Organization. Antigua contended that the US was impeding online gaming operations in the country. Antigua won a favorable decision by the WTO. Sadly the US ignored the decision of the WTO. In 2007 the WTO found that the US “had done nothing to abide by an earlier verdict that labeled some U.S. Internet gambling restrictions as illegal.” On June 19, 2007 the island nation filed a claim with the WTO seeking $3.4 billion in trade sanctions against the US. Antigua also requested authorization to ignore US patent and copyright laws. The dispute has not been settled.

In spite of the dispute Antigua Barbuda remains one of the premiere licensing jurisdictions in the world. The online gaming industry has brought a measure of prosperity to the islands. For licensing requirements go to the Antiguan Directorate of Offshore Gaming official website.