Antiguan Online Gaming
Antigua and Barbuda was one of the first jurisdictions to license and regulate online gaming in 1994.
The FSRC Gaming Division awards two types of licenses: interactive gaming and interactive wagering. The interactive gaming license applies to online casinos, while the interactive wagering license applies to sports betting.
In addition to being one of the first licensing jurisdictions for online gaming, Antigua and Barbuda is known for its dispute with the United States over its internet gambling policies. In 2003, Antigua went to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and argued that the U.S. had violated the General Agreement on Trade Services (GATS) relating to international internet gambling. By 2005, Antigua had scored a narrow WTO victory, with the organization ruling the U.S. had indeed violated its free trade commitments when it came to betting on horse races. After a series of appeals and failed negotiations, the WTO ruled in 2013 that intellectual copyright and trademarks in the U.S. could be violated to pay for damages – which were estimated at USD 21 million annually. But the matter still has not been settled. In June 2018, Antigua and Barbuda announced it was “losing all hope” of a financial settlement in the long-running dispute and that it may ask the head of the World Trade Organization to mediate.
In 2008, Antigua became a “whitelisted” jurisdiction under U.K. gambling law. This meant that online gaming operators licensed by Antigua could legally advertise to and accept players from the U.K. The value of being a "whitelisted" jurisdiction fell in 2014 when the U.K. began requiring operators targeting the U.K. market to acquire a U.K. license as well.
In June 2010, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and the FSRC for Antigua and Barbuda signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that established an innovative regulatory relationship between the two commissions. The MOU enables a process when an operator holds a Primary License in either jurisdiction to apply to the other for an Inter-Jurisdictional Authorization. The holder of the Inter-Jurisdictional Authorization is entitled to be hosted in either jurisdiction. The regulatory body that issues the Primary License regulates and supervises all of the operator’s activities within both jurisdictions.
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