Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island state in the Caribbean. It was earlier a part of the Britain, but became independent in 1981. Antigua and Barbuda has always followed the English Common Law and still does. This makes the twin-island state a very reliable place to set up a business. It is already a hub of offshore banking and there is no reason why it cannot become the most popular center for offshore gambling.
Antigua and Barbuda was one of the first countries to offer licenses to internet gambling sites. They have been hosting internet casinos since 1994, and are one of the earliest jurisdictions for offshore gambling. What makes Antigua and Barbuda an attractive destination for gambling operators is that casinos that get licensed here are white-listed by the UK Gambling Commission, and are permitted to accept players from the UK.
History of Gambling in Antigua and Barbuda
The twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda has been involved in the online gambling market for decades now. Antigua and Barbuda’s association with the gambling industry goes way back to 1963, when the Betting and Gaming Act was introduced.
Antigua and Barbuda always had a thriving land-based casino scene, but it was the onset of online gambling in 1994 that transformed it into a hub of online gambling. It was the International Business Corporations Act in 1982 that established Antigua and Barbuda as a business friendly place.
When internet gaming sites first became popular and were looking for a reputable gambling jurisdiction, it was towards Antigua and Barbuda that they first turned to. Antigua and Barbuda first started offering gambling licenses to trustworthy online gambling sites, including online casinos in 1994 and has never looked back since.
Dispute with the US Government
Antigua and Barbuda has some disputes with the United States as it was accused by the US government of having violated the General Agreement on Trade Services. The US government even took the matter to the World Trade Organization.
They have banned all online gambling sites operating out of Antigua and Barbuda and have made it very difficult for US players to participate in the online betting, gambling and casino sites from the place.
While the dispute has been resolved in favor of Antigua and Barbuda by the WTO, the US still continues its boycott of online gambling sites based out of the twin island state. This is unfortunate for internet casino operators from Antigua and Barbuda and also for US players.
Online Casinos in Antigua and Barbuda
There is thriving online gambling culture in Antigua and Barbuda. There are sports betting websites, poker sites, bingo sites, etc., but it is only online casinos that have really taken off. The online casino sites that are based out of the two-island state are world class. They are among the best in their category and are very popular among the gambling community across the world. They are only one of the biggest sources of employment on the islands.
Getting an Antigua and Barbuda Gaming License
Until the early 2000s, getting a casino license from Antigua and Barbuda was easy enough. But things changed after that as the Directorate of Offshore Gaming, which regulates all online gambling sites based out of Antigua and Barbuda, decided to get serious.
A number of rules and regulations were introduced and a framework was built for the Antigua and Barbuda Gambling License based on the Interactive Gaming and Interactive Wagering Regulations and the International Business Corporations Act. All applications have to be approved by the Directorate of Offshore Gambling. The license will cost between $75,000 and $100,000 USD.
There are two types of licenses for online gambling: One for interactive gaming and another for interactive wagering. The Directorate of Offshore Gaming is fully responsible for making sure that all gambling operators that hold a license, act according to the guidelines of fair practice as stipulated by the law.