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Bahamas Proposes Gaming Sector Changes

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
11 September, 2014

The Bahamas has announced a complete overhaul of its gaming legislation aimed at regularizing the gaming industry in the country in order to create a streamlined, user-friendly, efficient licensing and regulatory regime, overseen by a financially sustainable regulatory authority.

Currently the government takes in about USD15m a year in tax from gaming activities, but studies have shown that this figure could be trebled if the sector is expanded, particularly through the opening of casinos.

The Gaming Bill 2014 was tabled in Parliament along with the Gaming Regulations, 2014, the Gaming House Operators Regulations, 2014, the Financial Transactions Reporting (Amendment) Bill, 2014, the Financial Transactions (Gaming Exemptions) Regulations 2014 and the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Bill, 2014.

The raft of new legislation will replace the Lotteries and Gaming Act 1969 which has been amended over the years but which, it is now felt, can no longer keep pace with changing operational requirements or technological advances.

The Minister with responsibility for the gaming industry, Obie Wilchcombe, said: "I am pleased today to bring to Parliament a new cutting edge comprehensive Gaming Bill, Gaming Regulations and Gaming House Regulations, which are designed to more effectively control and revolutionize gaming in The Bahamas for the greater benefit of the economy and people of our country."

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