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    February 2007
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    Default New Antigua bill will protect gamblers

    According to a report in The Daily Observer in Antigua, the Upper House approved a new gambling bill last week that brings sweeping changes to how the sector is regulated, including measures protecting people who have a gambling problem.

    Prime Minister Gaston Browne said under the new bill, the responsibility for regulating and supervising the gaming industry will fall under the new Gambling Authority and not the Financial Services Regulatory Commission, where it now stands. In addition to regulation and supervision, the prime minister said the new entity will “market the sector to promote casino development.” However, it will be the Cabinet that decides whether a license is granted to a resort casino or commercial lottery.
    The prime minister also used the occasion of introduction of the new Bill to announce that Antigua Lottery will continue to enjoy a monopoly. He said the market is simply “too small” to allow for other players at this time. “So from all indications, we will renew that license.”
    As a side note, there was an interesting debate in the comment section on The Daily Observer website under this article about the "evil" of gambling, prompting this response from one resident:

    Hey Wise up! Gambling is an "evil" that pays your bills. The gaming sector is one of the larger industries on the island. If you make any kind of living in Antigua and trace it far back enough, some portion of your money, in some capacity, comes from the gaming industry. Protecting the industry is rightfully a top priority and it makes me sad that voting members rather play moral police than see things for what they are but what else is new.
    Here's a link to the article and the comment section:

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