Gaming Board Considers Amendment to the Gaming Act That Would Pave the Way to Establishing a National Lottery

May 8, 2023 | Gaming

Nassau, Bahamas (May 5, 2023) –The Gaming Board is conducting a feasibility study to determine the best approach to a national lottery in the country.

Gaming Board Chief Counsel Crystal Knowles announced Wednesday that the board was considering proposing an amendment to the Gaming Act that would pave the way to establishing a national lottery.

Possible amendment may also involve including a provision whereby the government or the board can incorporate a corporate sole that is owned for the purpose of operating a national lottery,” Knowles announced to the Gaming Conference during a presentation where she highlighted several proposed amendments to the Gaming Act.

In order to determine the best approach, the board is having a feasibility study conducted to examine the structure of a national lottery in the context of our existing gaming sector.

In a national address ahead of the 2013 gaming referendum, the late Dr. Bernard Nottage, at the time minister of national security, noted that the government’s consultants had advised that a national lottery was not considered to be commercially viable at that time.

Voters were asked whether they supported the regulation and taxation of web shop gaming and whether they supported the establishment of a national lottery.

In both instances, a majority of voters who participated voted against these questions.

The Christie administration overturned the vote in respect of web shops, regularizing those operations.

Then-Prime Minister Perry Christie had originally scheduled the gambling referendum for December 3, 2012, and at the time it did not include the question of a national lottery.

However, after widespread public outcry, Christie postponed the referendum to January 28, 2013 and included the question of a national lottery.

Other proposed amendments of the Gaming Board revealed this week include an end to the prohibition on Bahamians and other domestic players gambling in commercial casinos, as well as allowing tourists to gamble in domestic gaming houses.

Additionally, the board proposed that the act be amended to allow Cabinet ministers, board members, and their relatives to obtain gaming house operator licenses.

Minister of Tourism Chester Cooper said those amendments are not currently before Cabinet. He also remained tight-lipped when asked about whether a moratorium on gaming house operator licenses, which prevents new entrants into the domestic market, would be lifted.

“These matters are not yet before the Cabinet for consideration,” Cooper repeated, referring to the proposed amendments announced by the Gaming Board, and the issue of the moratorium on domestic gaming licenses.

“Once the Gaming Board has done their full consultation on these matters, they will make a report and recommendation to us for consideration. When we get that I’ll talk with you some more about it.”

SOURCE: The Guardian.

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