Information about the Anjouan online gambling jurisdiction, licensing requirements, player complaints and dispute resolution process, and a sortable list of casinos licensed under this jurisdiction.
Never heard of Anjouan or the Comoros islands? Chances are that most gamers or casino companies have not either. This small island and tiny archipalego country tucked away in the southeastern corner of Africa between Mozambique and Madagascar offers a relatively straightforward, quick procedure for obtaining a license to run gaming operations and no information on dispute resolution mechanisms.
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Anjouan, also known as Nzwani, is one of the islands that forms part of the archipelago nation of the Comoros islands. The former actually seceded from the latter in 1997 and several years later attempted to enter into union with France, but had its request declined. In 2008, Comoran forces invaded Anjouan and once again made it part of the official Union of the Comoros.
All licenses are issued by Anjouan Offshore Finance Authority, the office of the government of Anjouan that is responsible for issuing banking, online gaming, brokerage, finance, and insurance licenses. In order to apply, applicants must contact Anjouan Corporate Services Ltd, an agent authorised to work with the government department, and submit a proof of identification such as a driving license or passport, proof of address, a bank reference, and proof of no prior convictions. Companies must also submit a proof of registration. Once all of the documents are submitted, it takes 3 to 4 weeks to receive a license, provided all of the documentation is in order.
Note that licenses are only issued to companies already registered in Anjouan and that companies must use banking institutions based on the islands. Licensees pay a fixed annual fee for the privilege, plus a 15% tax on winning wagers. Companies holding gaming licenses from Anjouan may operate and locate their servers anywhere in the world, meaning that the island represents little more than a tax haven for the operator.
An interesting clause in Anjouan's Online Gaming Act of 2005 states that all licensees are required to pay an up front security bond of $500,000. Furthermore it states that should a licensee fail to pay any winning player, or tax, or fees required, the government may deduct the amount from the bond to pay the obligation.
Despite the security clause in the Online Gaming Act of 2005 that provides a legal remedy for players who have not been paid by a licensee, we were not able to locate any information about complaints and dispute resolution for casinos operating in this jurisdiction. This should clearly be a red flag for gamers considering wagering their hard-earned money at any casino registered on the island, as action to recover funds is likely to be expensive and time consuming as it is conducted across intentional boundaries.
Also, does all of this political instability bother you? Well, the people at Anjouan Corporate Services Ltd do point out that "If there is a Coup d'etat there is little which we can do as it depends on which Government takes over and the conditions enforced." How reassuring!
Having said all this, we are only aware of one group of casinos currently licensed in Anjouan, and that is the Slotland group. Tinpot licensing jurisdiction notwithstanding, they have proven themselves to be an honest and trustworthy operator after more than 15 years in business. However if any other new operators without such a history do decide to set themselves up in Anjouan in the future we would urge caution before sending any money their way.