Antigua has for many years satisfied the banking needs of the Internet gambling industry. However, recent financial problems surrounding Stanford International Bank, the largest in Antigua have sent shockwaves throughout the industry, which has narrowly averted a disastrous situation thanks to having learnt the lessons of history and not placed all its eggs into a single financial basket.
With the possibility of Stanford Bank actually going down the tubes and its assets having been frozen due to an ongoing FBI investigation, online gambling bosses can breathe a sigh of relief that their money was not tied up in amongst all that mess, or there could have been one humdinger of a crisis within the industry.
It is an irony that will gall those same religious groups that worked so hard to try to quash the Internet gambling industry that they may inadvertently be the industry’s saviors. This is primarily because the bank’s billionaire owner, R. Allen Stanford refused to take business from entities that derived part or all of their income from gambling. This reasoning caused the industry to look elsewhere for banking services in Antigua and saved them from being a part of this thoroughly shaken up hornets nest of financial troubles.
The allegations of Stanford bank defrauding customers of around $8 billion have led to the sudden interest by the FBI. R. Allen Stanford, a former real estate developer from Texas who now resides on St Croix, one of Antigua’s islands, who is also under the FBI investigation has also been named in a Securities and Exchange Commission civil suit. Also charged in this investigation were the chief financial officer of Stanford International Bank Ltd, James Davis and chief investment officer of Stanford Financial Group Laura Pendergest-Holt.
This latest calamity in the financial sector will therefore have little if no affect on the Internet gambling industry, which will continue to treat Antigua as one of its financial centers due to its relaxed taxation rules and the ease of access for the many foreign operators.