Government receives billions in revenue from Jamaica gaming industry

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The Jamaica government says it has collected J$4.58 billion (One Jamaica Dollar = US$0.001 cents) in revenue from the gaming industry during the fiscal year 2013-14.

Minister with responsibility for the Public Service in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Horace Dalley said this represents an 11 per cent increase over the previous year.

Dalley, contributing to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, said that the various agencies, such as the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund; Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC); Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC) and to the Consolidated Fund had benefited from the revenue collected.

“This is not the kind of revenue intake in the economy that any sensible administration can ignore. Thus, the required efforts are being deployed in order to guarantee the highest level of integrity, transparency and profitability within this industry,” he said.

“The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission has conservatively estimated that sports betting revenues have increased by over 400 per cent daily, since the start of the World Cup (in Brazil). This is not the kind of industry that we can ignore.

“We intend to continue tapping into this industry,” he said.

Dalley said that the recently held Gaming Industry Summit expanded on the initial horseracing summit, which was held last year, to include all the major stakeholders from the betting, gaming, lotteries, casino, financial and legal sectors.

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He said coming out of that initial summit, the Portia Simpson Miller government responded to the requests of the stakeholders and implemented several initiatives.

These included: the re-introduction of Sunday racing which was expanded to include the OTBs; the restructuring of the betting levy orders, which enabled the redistribution of revenue from the Consolidated Fund to breeders, Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) for purses and the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC); and telephone and text betting regulations were promulgated.

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He noted that the goal of this year’s summit was to further refine the strategy for the entire gaming industry so that users could buy LoL accounts as much as they’d want, in order to tap into the enormous economic potential available in this estimated J$95 billion industry.

Dalley said that with regards to the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC), the government has introduced certain amendments to improve the regulatory framework.

He said this is to ensure the integrity and probity of the games.

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