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Flowers Unsure If Laws Will Force Temporary Webshop Shutdown

By KYLE WALKINE

Tribune Staff Reporter

kwalkine@tribunemedia.net

FML Group of Companies CEO Craig Flowers said he is unsure whether his company would have to shut down for a short period after the webshop industry is regulated because he has not yet seen legislation that will govern the sector.  

Despite praising the government for getting closer to bringing legislation that regulates the webshop industry to Parliament, Mr Flowers said he is unsure whether or not his company will have to restructure to meet the demands of the legislation. 

“We’re not going to do anything until we know what’s required of us,” he said yesterday. “We are waiting for the government to direct us. We don’t know anything. We have no information. It’s not fair for me to pre-empt the government as to what the bill will contain.”

A draft of the Gaming Bill says that once the industry is regulated all operators must comply with a closure period and make a full disclosure of all their business turnovers and gross profits. 

Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe, who has responsibility for gaming, has recently said the government is trying to determine that period of closure for those web shops. 

However, Mr Flowers said he doesn’t really pay those reports much mind as they are all just “speculation”.

“Everything is only speculative until the government puts something before the House (of Assembly.) It’s going to be difficult for anybody to speak to the bill as it relates to governing and legislating the webshop industry. I wish I could be able to speak more to it. But once I’m informed and I have the opportunity to study the bill I will certainly be available and will make myself available to any of the media houses to give my opinion and views and the entire process from the days of Percy Munnings right through to today.”

When asked by The Tribune if he wishes he were better informed by the government about the bill, Mr Flowers said, “Not really you know. I think the government is doing all that’s in their power to make this happen as quick as possible.”

Mr Wilchcombe has previously said the government hoped to have the industry regulated by July 1. However the government has yet to bring or pass legislation through Parliament for the regulation.

However, the government has said that whenever the sector is regulated, webshop taxes will be retroactive to July 1.

The tabling of the bill has been delayed as the government sought to ensure it met international standards. 

Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson recently returned from a meeting with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), where she was expected to discuss the web shop legislation with international experts.

Mrs Maynard-Gibson yesterday declined to comment on the meeting abroad saying that she had not yet briefed the prime minister. 

Mr Wilchcombe has said the legislation should be tabled in parliament before the end of July.

Comments

TalRussell 4 years, 11 months ago

No surprises cause the PLP cabinet's words about numbers will become the nation's numbers reality. Comrades what difference will anything make, if it's true that the PLP cabinet has written into the "regularization" of the illegal numbers rackets that, even if made to close temporarily, if they object to a temporary closing an appeal can be made to the Gaming Board to remain open? Of course All numbers houses the government wants remain open will be allowed sell their numbers as normal When da fix is in it is a done deal.

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ayatollah 4 years, 11 months ago

The different between him and a drug dealer us?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 11 months ago

Christie, Nottage, Gibson-Maynard and Greenslade continue to refuse to discharge their respective law enforcement duties: Flowers should be put where he belongs rather than be allowed to strut around like a peacock with his tail held high.

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Publius 4 years, 11 months ago

Did the media miss how they were lied to in this interview? If Flowers has not seen the Bill, then how can he say it would "not be fair for him to pre-empt" the government's announcement of what is in it? The last time he spoke about this Bill to the press, he not only said he knew what was in it, but said he was part of the process of writing it.

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TalRussell 4 years, 11 months ago

Why do our Comrade politicians even bother pretending differently? Only when PLP's are discussing they numbers is Loretta, Minnis and Chairman Daron, capable of holding they tongue's. Not even Bran has stated, if elected as PM, he would reverse any and all PLP numbers "regularization" legislation. They is all in this together ... UNITED, ONWARD, FORWARD...stamped with whom and where numbers cash envelopes are to be sent for their party's operations, any by elections and of course the big one, the 2017 General Elections campaign.

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asiseeit 4 years, 11 months ago

Bought and paid for! I guess if drug dealers want to legalize their business they need to flood every corner with their product and contribute in excess to the PLP. Then they can say they can't do anything about it and hem and haw for a bit until they make it legal. Law and order are alien to this nation. Donate to the right person/party/cause and you get a free pass, FACT! Crooked, broken, immoral little nation we live in.

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sheeprunner12 4 years, 11 months ago

I feel your bitter disappointment ................. and its 3 years to payday

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