Planned Summer Introduction for Barbados Online Gaming Legislation

By | March 29, 2023


In Barbados and the government of Prime Minister Mia Mottley soon intends to introduce legislation for the more effective management of the small island nation’s financial and online gambling sectors.

This news was revealed on Friday by the Caribbean country’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Ryan Straughn, during the two-day Barbados Risk and Insurance Management Conference. The experienced politician declared that the move will allow the nation to better supervise activities that may well pose ‘significant risks’ to the wider economy following the recent bankruptcy of prominent Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange firm FTX Trading Limited.

Straughn said that the Mottley-led government has had a ‘long withstanding process’ with respect to upgrading its banking and insolvency regimes and hopes to have introduced the new legislation before the end of June in order to put the entire framework ‘on an international standing’.

“In a risk context, we are in the final stages of addressing a couple of key matters,” Straughn told attendees at the Barbados Hilton Resort event. “Equally important and more directly related to risk is a new betting and gaming framework, which we are bringing into play also similarly within that time frame.”

A former economist, Straughn told those at the gathering that the more effective regulation of iGaming is critical due to a recent rise in the proliferation of online gaming activities that have potentially exposed Barbadians to ‘the similar types of risk that is taking place within the high-frequency trading space’.

“We are going to be bringing a new regime with respect to being able to address the risk associated with those things,” Straughn said. “Why are these things important? Because our citizens are currently engaging in e-commerce-type activities that we are not currently capable of regulating.”

Straughn additionally asserted that his department was already liaising with the local telecommunications industry so as to establish a more effectual monitoring system and will be working closely with an undisclosed entity ‘to build capacity and identify skill sets to provide sophisticated support for regulation’. He detailed that such move would allow Barbados to better secure its economic fortune and learn from the experiences of others around the world.

Barbados became a unitary parliamentary republic in November of 2021 and Straughn stressed that local regulators are to be tasked with remaining vigilant as new and more sophisticated businesses enter the market. He nevertheless finished by acknowledging the ever-present potential for significant loss and major economic damage from activities such as cryptocurrency.

“There will always be a risk…you can never totally eliminate risk,” Straughn said. “As a government, we want to facilitate the improvement of technology and the investment in technology in order for us to do things faster but achieving that efficiency cannot be at the expense of the financial system or the persons who actively participate in that space.”

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