It's a tough job but someone has to do it….members of South Africa's National Gambling Board are hard at work in Antigua this month, studying the experienced Caribbean islanders' online gambling regulatory framework as part of an initiative to learn and build relationships.
For the past several years, the South African government has extensively researched the regulation of online gambling prior to preparing its own legalization, which recently passed into law. The practical problems of administering a regulatory and licence system for Internet gambling must now be considered prior to issuing the first licenses.
Reporting on the visit, the Antigua Sun revealed that the South African mission is spending a week visiting the Division of Gaming within the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) of Antigua. It is the first visit of this nature by the South African National Gaming Board to Antigua and Barbuda as part of an initiative to aimed at strengthening ties with gaming regulators worldwide.
In July 2008, South Africa enacted remote gambling legalization and is now in the process of developing practical and supporting licensing regulations.
The newspaper reports that Antigua and Barbuda is one of three jurisdictions selected by the NGB to assist in the development of South Africa's licensing and regulatory system.
NGB deputy chairman and acting CEO, Mmathebe Thebi Moja said the NGB as a member of the International Association of Gaming Regulators recognises the FSRC, Division of Gaming of Antigua and Barbuda as a leader in remote gaming regulation.
"The NGB has chosen to understudy their detailed policy and regulatory framework before implementation of our legalization that seeks to legalise and regulate online gambling," Moja stated.
FSRC chairperson Althea Crick said she was pleased that the FSRC had been recognised in this way. "I am particularly heartened by the selection of the [Antiguan] jurisdiction by the NGB as it underscores the confidence placed by the international community on our regulatory and supervisory machinery," Crick said.
While visiting Antigua and Barbuda, the delegation will attend a series of presentations covering a broad range of regulatory, licensing and supervisory policies that include meetings with the Minister of Finance Harold Lovell, the FSRC Board of Directors, key government agencies and gaming operators.
Antigua's Director of Gaming, Kaye McDonald, said she views the initiative as an opportunity to advance the profile of Antigua and Barbuda internationally as a highly regarded and well regulated remote gaming jurisdiction.