After several months of negotiations, Antigua and Barbuda's Directorate of Gaming has announced that the Caribbean island government's application for whitelisting has been approved by the United Kingdom's Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
By attaining "whitelist" status, Antigua-based remote gaming operators will, effective 21 November 2008, be allowed to advertise their services to consumers in the United Kingdom, paving the way for expansion of the Caribbean country's online gambling industry, while offering online gambling operators increased opportunity to market their offerings.
Making the announcement, Antiguan Minister of Finance and the Economy Dr L. Errol Cort commented: "We are extremely pleased that our application has now been approved, and we look forward to the expansion opportunities that this provides for our current licensees and to welcoming other, select first-rate remote gambling brands to the jurisdiction of Antigua and Barbuda."
Antigua and Barbuda were originally excluded from the list of acceptable UK advertisers, but this decision was reconsidered following further representations by the Antiguan government to the UK Secretary of State.
In confirming the successful "whitelisting" application, the UK Minister for Sport said that he was "…content that Antigua and Barbuda has the legal authority to regulate gambling," and that "its current system of regulation and licensing provides a robust and adequately resourced framework to uphold our shared objectives: to prevent gambling from becoming a source of crime; to keep gambling fair and open and to protect children and vulnerable people."
Director of Gaming Ms Kaye McDonald said: "The UK whitelisting reaffirms our commitment to adhere to strict principles in the supervision and oversight of this global industry and our current high level of success at doing so."