The Caribbean online gambling jurisdiction of Antigua and Barbuda is to increase regulatory compliance monitoring, the Directorate of Offshore Gaming, a branch of the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC), announced this week.
The Directorate boasted that all Antigua eGaming licensees are subject to the same compliance requirements as apply to financial institutions, including strict Anti-Money Laundering, Counters to suspected terrorist funding moves and “Know Your Client” protocols, with compliance validated by ongoing external audits.
“Our regulatory model is founded on three distinct pillars: prevention of money laundering; licensee integrity, transparency and accountability; and, above all, safeguarding the interests and well-being of the players,” says Kaye McDonald, Director of Gaming. “Our licensees work with us collaboratively to continuously improve compliance measures – they recognize that a strong regulatory system protects their players and enhances the credibility of the industry in general, which is in everyone’s mutual interest.”
The Directorate's ‘parent' government body, the Financial Services Regulatory Commission, has deployed a new monitoring programme which leverages information systems and industry-specific computer assisted auditing techniques (CAATs) to actively monitor the complex businesses of licensees and to ensure compliance requirements are tracked and satisfied.
Compliance requirements include the so-called “white listing” criteria mandated by the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport in respect of non-EEA companies allowed to advertise in the UK.
McDonald said that the new system was the product of active collaboration with the Directorate's licensees.
Another element that distinguishes Antigua from many other licensing jurisdictions is its commitment to protecting potentially vulnerable players, by the establishment of the Responsible Gambling and Gambling Addiction Research and Education Fund (GAREF). Antigua’s licensees are required to contribute to the fund as a condition of licensing.
“The ongoing improvements to our statutory requirements ensure that our licensees comply with internationally accepted best practices, and further affirms their commitment to socially responsible practices,” said McDonald.