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Ten Web Shops Pay Up $5m In Time For Transition

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

TEN web shops have paid their tax arrears in time to remain open during the industry’s transitional period and are eligible for operation licenses, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said yesterday.

He noted that the debt the web shops paid amount to $5m, adding that the response the government has received from the sector was “very good”.

Monday was the deadline to pay tax arrears for the period July 1 to November 24, 2014 for web shop operators wishing to remain open during the transitional period.

Mr Wilchcombe previously said that web shops owners who failed to pay their tax arrears in the time allotted face disqualification from the process of obtaining licenses, which are expected to be issued by May 2015.

A more definitive statement about the status of the web shops that did not pay their tax arrears before Monday’s deadline is expected early next week.

According to information from the Ministry of Finance, there were at least 251 web shops in operation run by 35 different companies in 2013.

Attorney Wayne Munroe told The Tribune recently that at least four web shop operations closed down before the Gaming Bill made its way to Parliament this summer.

Later this month, the Gaming Board is expected to publish a notice about its intention to issue a request for proposal (RFP) for licenses.

Mr Wilchcombe has said that the government intends to issue a maximum of eight licenses.

Asked for his assessment on the matter, Mr Munroe recently said he would be surprised if more than half of the web shops currently in operation remain in business by this month, with compliance costs expected to prove too hefty for many of them to bear.

His statement came after Island Luck, the country’s largest web shop operation, made 47 people redundant because their positions were not provided for in the Gaming Act which came into force last week Monday.

The government hopes to generate at least $12 million annually from web shop taxes.

Prime Minister Perry Christie said in September that the government stands to collect $25 million in penalties, back business license fees and application fees payable during the transition period.

Comments

TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrades the minister keeps sounding more each day likes he's the chief public relations spokesman for da numbers businesses. I don't t give a good damn cause regularized or illegal, they is like a select pack of Pot cakes - strung out steroids taking advantage of the little monies poor people have to spend from one paycheck to another. It is proven fact poor people spend a much higher percentage of their meager incomes on gambling games of chance than those with more means? Poor people will also pay proportionately more per paycheck for VAT on necessities like they groceries, clothing's, medicines. The poor pay a much higher percentage of each and every paycheck for they lights and housing. Poor people pay more per paycheck for National Insurance. Those considered be well-off financially, buy all things the poor can only dream of buying. Why you think they be chasing they dreams playing da numbers religiously? Unfortunately, for the the vast majority of the many thousands numbers gamblers, few will ever be willing to acknowledge that more of their money will leaves they pockets than will ever make its way into they even more empty pockets. Sadly, many will become gambling addicts, inflicting damage upon not only themselves but their loved-ones and friends. But the minister and his cabinet colleagues may be too damn occupied with the $5 million collected, than they over the misery caused upon the very people who paid a heavy price while contributing their fair share of the $5 million from their paychecks to the numbers houses. Comrades what I speaks needs saying and repeating. By the minister own auditing, he has claimed these same numbers men's took-in close $1 Billion dollars over 12 months period, yes with capital B, so where in hell do you think da "dropping like red penny on street" $5 million dollars really come from? Poor peoples pockets.

God help the Comrade Poor Peoples!

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birdiestrachan 4 years, 7 months ago

Mr. wilchombe you put a whole lot of people who use to sell numbers out of work. Just in time for Christmas, It is the same thing the FNM did when they stopped persons from selling phone card. What they are saying is that the FNM and the PLP are just alike. But it is good for Barry Malcom and Julian Francis and the likes of them, whose Papa told them to vote NO. and bad for those who voted YES.

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birdiestrachan 4 years, 7 months ago

Tal being poor does not mean one does not have common sense, people who buy numbers before will continue to buy and those who do not will not start. We all have a free will. and no one can protect us from ourselves. No Government or any one else. Even God who made us tells us to choose.

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TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrade i am not against "state run" lotteries. But shouldn't the government try to keep those who can least afford it from spending their money on what has been reclassified from criminal to regularized, with no understanding of what they are about make legal? My question to the Minister is, should your government be involving the nation's most disadvantaged citizens to be a part of their gambling experiment? Comrade I am not questioning the intelligence of Bahamalander's. I wish to question the measure of this PLP cabinet's compassion for poor people..

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licks2 4 years, 7 months ago

The PLP will never do anything that benefits any persons besides themselves!! If you all will continue to think that this party will be anything else but corrupt and self-serving, GO RIGHT AHEAD!!

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asiseeit 4 years, 7 months ago

Man licks, what you talking about. The PLP is the party of the poor man. You see how good Perry treats his people, toilets, running water, a clean area, no crime, man them set in his area living large. I wish I had a M.P. like P.G.C. then all would be right in the world. Even go back farther and look at what South Andros reaped from Pindling. Man they living like kings down there. I tell you the PLP is look out for the little man. You see how educated the children of the Bahamas are, they can go ANYWHERE and get a job. I don't know why BahMar is have a training center, our kids get a quality education thanks to the PLP. And crime, man don't let the evil Tribune fool you, there ain't none, thanks to the PLP. The other thing we don't have thanks to the PLP is corruption, only people trying to hold the black man down say there is corruption in The Bahamas. The PLP, "we look out for the little man, cause we can't let him catch us"!

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bismark 4 years, 7 months ago

those crooks parading around like legitimate business men should be taxed for all of the money they made all of these years five million is a joke to what these pirates have made bullshitting people with those games you can never win on.

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