Phillips: Rules for gaming and betting
ST ANDREW, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Peter Phillips, has emphasised that the gaming industry, which provides thousands of jobs and revenues for the Government, must operate under Regulations.
The Minister, who was addressing the official opening of the new headquarters for the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) and the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC), on Hagley Park Road, Thursday, said over the past year, revenues from the industry had increased by 11 per cent, and it must remain regulated.
“We must have a well regulated industry which is free from criminal intrusion, an industry that does not become a vehicle for money laundering, and an industry which is wholesome in the way that it operates,” the Minister said.
Lauding the BGLC for its innovation, Dr Phillips said the innovation was not only in policing the industry, “but also trying to ensure that we bring more activities taking place within the ambit of legality, rather than allowing them to exist in the underworld of unregulated activities.”
The Government is currently making legislative amendments to merge the BGLC and the JRC, for a fully funded authority to oversee gaming and horse racing. The new headquarters will result in savings of over $300 million.
Also welcoming the new office complex was Opposition Spokesman on Finance Audley Shaw, who told the gathering that as former Finance Minister, he made the decision to purchase the property, so that a very important aspect of recommendations made by the public sector transformation body could have been realised.
The JRC was established in December 1972 to oversee the horse racing industry. Its planned merger with the BGLC, which regulates and controls the operations of betting and gaming, and the conduct of lotteries in the island, has been under consideration for many years.