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Trinidad tightens regulations on their gaming industry which employs 35,000

Trinidad tightens regulations on their gaming industry which employs 35 000

The Trinidad and Tobago government announced on Friday their plans on how to strengthen the gaming industry on the island stating that it would be guided by three main principles. Larry Howai, the country’s finance minister, put forward the Finance Bill for 2014 in the Senate and declared that the principles would make sure that the “vulnerable would be protected; that gaming should be fairly and openly conducted and all such operations must be within the boundaries of the law.”

He told legislators that the gaming industry was currently employing around 35,000 people and that there was great demand for it in Trinidad and Tobago, but at the same time stressing the importance of strict regulation.

“While the growth in the sector shows that there is a solid public demand for these gaming services there are inherent dangers that have to be addressed. The gaming sector should only be a legitimate source of prosperity and entertainment if it doesn’t involve crime, protects the vulnerable and promotes fair-play towards the customer. These provisions are our first step in  implementing a very strict system which will ensure that this country’s regulatory environment meets the acceptable international standards,” he said.

He also informed legislators of the government’s short and long term plans targeting the gaming and private members clubs -‘There will be a new requirement of a deposit of TT$500,000 (One TT dollar = US$0.16 cents). This deposit will be mandatory for absolutely all private members clubs that have a certificate for gambling activities on their premises.This sum seeks to protect the consumer while imposing some regulatory parameters on those who are offering casino style games. With this we ensure that in the event of a claim that is successfully made against such a private members club, that club won’t be able to enter into any further gambling transactions until and unless this deposit is replenished with the controller of accounts to restore it to the initial  500,000,” he said.

Finally he added that a gaming authority will be established, with responsibilities for issuing licences and other monitoring initiatives.