Caribbean Casino and Gaming Law
This article was not written by an attorney and should not serve as legal advice. It is a summary of gaming laws in the Caribbean.
Gambling Law, Casino Laws in Caribbean countries
Tuesday May 26th, 2015
Progress in Jamaica 2014
Congress has started the process for granting licenses to the accepted bidders
yet to pass legislation regulating Internet gambling, leaving the V.I. the option of creating its own law to take advantage of the highly rewarding industry. Last year, at a seminar on Internet gaming hosted by the Casino Control Commission, experts said online gambling had reached about $2.2 billion annually.
By 2005, it is projected to reach $10 billion. More than 55 nations, including Antigua, Belize, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica in the Caribbean region, now allowing Internet gaming. Controls in some of the jurisdictions have been widely criticized for their sloppiness.
Antigua and Barbuda:
The Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives had met few days back to contemplate on the ‘Goodlatte and Leach Internet Gaming Bills’. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda was given an opportunity to make written submissions to the Committee in respect of the proposed Bills. In spite of the protests, arguments and other submissions, the Committee nonetheless voted in favor of the Bills.
“The approval by the Judiciary Committee of the so-called ‘Goodlatte and Leach Internet Gaming Bills’, represents a troubling about-turn by an important arm of the US Government in response to the crystal-clear recommendations and rulings of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO),” said Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Finance and the Economy, Dr Errol Cort.
Racinos in Caribbean countries
Caribbean has a plethora of opportunities in horse racing. One can check out the Guadeloupe that offers horse tracks at Gosier, at the Hippodrome de Pointe a Pitre. Also, Jamaica offers horse tracks in Saint Catherine at Caymanas Park while Martinique offers them in Lamentin at Hippodrome de Carrere Lamentin.
Internet Gambling and Racino Laws in Caribbean countries
The government of Antigua and Barbuda licenses gambling entities. The island nation of Antigua and Barbuda had complained to the World Trade Organization about the US government’s actions to impede online gambling.
Though this small Caribbean Country won the preliminary ruling but WTO had reduced the favorable ruling in April, 2005. The appeals decision held that various state laws argued by Antigua to be contrary to WTO agreements were not adequately discussed during the course of the proceedings to be properly assessed by the panel.
The appeals panel also ruled out the Wire Act and two other federal statutes prohibiting the provisions of gambling services from Antigua violated the General Agreement on Trade in Services or “GATS” issued by WTO.
US could convince the appeals panel about the necessity of the laws for the protection of public health and morals. However the US defenses were rejected finally because its laws relating to remote gambling on horse-racing were not applied equally to foreign and domestic online betting companies, and thus the United States could not establish that its laws were non-discriminatory.
Caribbean Lottery / Lotto
Jamaica is a great place for trying one’s luck in lotteries. The idea of putting a whopping $53 million was given by the National Council of Education. This was done to generate revenue to revamp the educational systems of the place. The government has made the modifications in the lottery plans and a sum of $15,000 was set before the 15% tax is applied.
Caribbean Lottery / Lotto Laws
While Jamaica is against casino gaming, it may be willing to take a chance at the lotteries.
There are signals that the Government will achieve its one billion dollar target from the collection of the betting, gaming and lottery tax. Provisional data from the Finance Ministry confirm that intake from the tax at the end of January was $54 million above projection. The figure stood at $925 million ahead of the expected $871 million.
Based on the increased inflows it is expected that total intake will reach one billion dollars by the end of the fiscal year on March 31. Last December, Finance Minister Dr. Omar Davies announced a reversal of the Government's decision to impose a 15% tax on all lottery winnings. The tax now applies only to winnings above $15,000.
The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) has proposed that fines of up to half a million dollars should be imposed on lottery vendors and bookmakers who sell tickets or bets to minors as part of a sweeping house- cleaning of the industry.
A High Court Judge has granted a 28 day ex parte injunction to Olympic Sports Data Services Limited, against a move by the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) to shut down its gaming operations.