Anjouan Jurisdiction profile
A small island situated in the Indian Ocean off of the eastern coast of Africa, Anjouan is home to approximately 277,500 people and serves as one of the three constituent parts of the Union of the Comoros. The jurisdiction located at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel was a protectorate of France until 1975 with its culture having been additionally influenced by immigration from a multitude of ethnicities including Arabs, Polynesians, Shirazis, Antalotes and African mainlanders. Historically often referred to as Johanna, the diminutive territory began licensing iGaming operations from 2005 following the passage of local legislation that established the Gaming Board of Anjouan and gave this body the authority in cooperation with the Anjouan Offshore Finance Authority to certify online casino, sports betting, lottery and bingo enterprises. Such entities can receive a license simply by setting up a domestic presence before submitting materials to precisely verify the identities, dates and places of birth, nationalities and bank accounts of any involved individuals. The simple and laid-back process is often criticized by those who claim Anjouan is offering a much less stringent iGaming certification scheme as part of an effort to raise cash for a territory where about half of the population lives below the international poverty line. This denigration moreover runs to the fact that each license permits firms to operate a multitude of brand names that can have their servers and bank accounts hosted offshore. The denunciation of Anjouan iGaming licenses additionally runs to the fact that the local government does not offer any dispute resolution routes for players who feel they may have been cheated or treated unfairly. In theory, the Gaming Board of Anjouan has the power to fine and revoke the certifications of dodgy operators but the number of firms who have been hit with such sanctions remains a mystery, which has led many to treat online gaming enterprises licensed in the territory with considerable caution. On the upside iGaming operators seeking to quickly obtain an international license can utilize the Anjouan regime to gain a five-year certification in as little as three months complete with a commitment that the government will provide the necessary internal infrastructure including cloud services and private server racks. Such authorizations additionally encompass very few restrictions alongside no corporate and wagering taxes while allowing such enterprises to exploit cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Litecoin. Nevertheless, iGaming firms that are granted a license by the Gaming Board of Anjouan and the Anjouan Offshore Finance Authority are expected to follow the tenets of the territory’s Unusual Transactions Act legislation in addition to a range of know-your-customer, anti-money laundering and counter terrorism rules. These are monitored by the jurisdiction’s Anjouan Corporate Services Limited body and embrace a domestic embargo and a provision for all players to be at least 18 years of age. Certified enterprises are furthermore obliged clearly display their gaming rules and payout conditions, have their systems, software and back-end logs appraised by an independent enterprise and conduct associated compliance audits encompassing the details, transactions and history of their punters.