As anyone who lives or visits Antigua and Barbuda will know, it’s a beautiful country filled with brilliant people. Many famous names have come to recognise this over the years, including the legends like Timothy Dalton, Richard Branson, Eric Clapton, and Oprah Winfrey.
But it’s not just a picturesque part of the world for the rich and famous to create a home away from home, Antigua and Barbuda has creed many incredible exports that have proved popular for many years. Here are some of the best.
Today, online casino gaming and other forms of iGaming have become so commonplace it’s easy to think that they’ve always been around. That isn’t true though, iGaming is less than 30 years old and it only really began evolving into the industry we know today about 20 years ago.
Today, billions are wagered every year on thousands of different games. Among them are traditional table games like roulette and blackjack but the biggest category is slots. Many online casinos are continually making new and exclusive online slots like Tomb of Ra, Banana Town, and Big Blue Bounty that cater to different tastes with unique themes, novel bonus features, and impressive jackpots. With thousands of different options iGaming has grown into a hobby that can be enjoyed by everyone rather than a niche part of the online gaming market.
But none of this would be possible were it not for Antigua and Barbuda. In 1994, the country passed the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act while the internet was still in its infancy. It was a brilliant piece of foresight as it allowed the islands to become the global capital of online gaming.
For the first time, companies would be allowed to set up casinos on Antigua and Barbuda and plug them into the information superhighway. Users could then play these games from their homes anywhere else in the world.
And play they did. By 2001, Antigua and Barbuda controlled 59% of the world’s iGaming market, generating almost $2.4 billion in revenue each year. Sadly, that dominance has dwindled, but the country still punches above its weight in the industry.
Just like its Caribbean neighbours, Antigua and Barbuda has gifted the world some great music and musicians.
Depending on your age and where you live, you may think associate the country with a different artist but here are some of the most famous ones.
One of these is Jazzie B, a DJ and music producer who, although he lives in London, he is the descendent of Antiguans. Aged 59 now, Jazzie B began DJing in 1977 as part of a sound system group known as Soul II Soul which he continued until 1989. He’s since started a music label that promotes other black artists.
Meanwhile, Kool DJ Red Alert made a name for himself working as a DJ on New York radio stations. As well as helping artists like Queen Latifah and Black Sheep get air time, the Antiguan also helped to introduce dancehall music to mainstream US airwaves.
Younger people might be more likely to recognise JB Gill’s name. The JLS singer spent the early part of his life in Antigua, though he was born in Croydon, London. It was in the Caribbean that Gill discovered his love of music, learning to play the recorder, flute, guitar, and piano.
Gill rose to game thanks to the British TV show The X Factor where he, as part of the JLS boy band, came close to winning the competition. Even as a runner up, he and JLS went on to record five No. 1 singles and sell more than 10 million records around the world.
Romeo Challenger is a British drummer who was born in St John’s, Antigua back in 1950. He has performed as part of many groups over this long career, though most notably Black Widow and old time rock legends Showaddywaddy.