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Casino Gaming 'Fundamental' For Tourism

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Obie Wilchcombe

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

TOURISM Minister Obie Wilchcombe yesterday described the casino gaming industry as being “fundamentally important” to the Bahamas tourism product, noting that proposed reforms were vital if it was to compete with rival jurisdictions.

“We have had a number of proposals put to us by our industry partners” said Mr Wilchcombe. “We have taken a look at them. We have been able to look at what’s going on around the world, assess what’s happening in other jurisdictions and appreciate that we brought legislation for the gaming industry.

“The gaming industry is fundamentally important to what we offer as a tourist destination. It’s an amenity. You cannot expect to attract persons who participate when you consider the fact that you have Singapore, Macau, Las Vegas and Florida.

“All of these places are introducing new games. We have to be competitive.”

He added: “Many of the Caribbean countries that didn’t have gaming before are now considering gaming or have introduced gaming. Our legislation is seeking to advance our gaming to ensure that we are offering what is being offered around the world and even better, so that we can attract more people, because tourism is our main industry.”

The Gaming Act 2013, and associated regulations, will allow Bahamas-based casinos - those at Atlantis and Baha Mar, plus those at the Grand Lucayan and Bimini Bay resorts - to offer sports betting, in-play wagering and online gaming via cell phones and computers.

There will also be incentives for ‘junket’ group visits. The Bahamian casinos are also set to enjoy an expansion of their customer base, with the amended law removing the prohibition on non-Bahamian permanent residents and work permit holders gambling in their establishments.

Comments

stevennorton 7 years, 2 months ago

Tourism Minister Wilchcombe is totally correct that casino gaming has been a major factor in the growth of Bahamas tourism. I worked in the Bahamas resort hotel industry for 20 years in Nassau, Freeport and finally when Paradise Island moved the old Bahamian Club seasonal casino, to the Island after the bridge opened in 1967. Much of Freeport and Paradise Islands's tourism infrastructure would not have happened without casino gaming. And I doubt we would be seeing the multi $billion Baha Mar investment either, absent this substantial entertainment amenity. Adding sports betting gives the Bahamas an additional attraction, that is absent in Florida, the Midwest and Northeast casino jurisdictions, which are so important to Bahamas tourism. The Minister is correct, that competitive Islands, like Jamaica, are adding full casino resorts, like PI, in an effort to improve their visitations. After looking at the success of Macau and more recently Singapore, gaming has proven to be a strong driver of travel and a major job, tax and construction provider.

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by stevennorton

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BahamasGamingAssociation 6 years ago

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WHICH ON OF THE BELOW REIGNS SUPREME IN THE BAHAMAS?

The Bahamas Lottery and Gaming Act Chapter 387 Section 50 Persons prohibited from Gaming

Or

The Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Chapter III – Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedom of the Individual. Section 26 Protection from Discrimination on grounds of Race, Place of Origin etc.

The Bahamas Gaming Association stands by the Ideology that all human beings who are 18 years or older should be treated equally in all sectors of the Bahamian Economy which is enshrined in the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

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