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Jamaica – Jamaica to crack down on illegal lotteries

By - 11 June 2014

The Jamaican Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act is looking to provide greater powers to government to combat illegal gambling in the country.

The illegal lottery sector is generates revenue of around US$10bn whilst unregulated Internet gaming is worth around US$250m a year.

The Ministry’s Horace Dalley, revealed that the Government would take every ‘painstaking’ effort to regulate Internet gaming in Jamaica over the next year and shut down the illegal side.

“Internet gaming is happening right now in Jamaica,” he said. “Therefore, it is time that we make that progression to this methodology of gaming, as Jamaicans are already well equipped with the devices to facilitate this. The Government cannot sit idly by and allow the multi-billion dollar leakage through the illegal sales of lottery tickets, sports bets, and Internet gaming to continue. Thus, these critical amendments will serve to legitimise and protect investors.”

The Jamaican gaming sector has recorded tremendous growth over the last few years according to the Ministry of Finance and Planning with revenues rising from US$3.8bn for the 2012/13 fiscal year to US$4.5bn in 2013/14.

Mr. Dalley, said: “This is not the kind of revenue intake in the economy that any administration can ignore. Stakeholders can expect to benefit from the increased sports betting outlets facilitating World Cup fever and all future eligible sporting events.”Recent amendments to the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act have paved the way to the expansion of sports betting in Jamaica. Mr. Dalley explained that the changes will also give the Government greater powers to fight illegal gaming and illegal lotteries.

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