Webshop Consultants Could Be Hired For A Year

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe


Tribune Chief Reporter


TWO international gaming consultants could settle in for a year-long training initiative to transition webshops into a regulated market as early as next week.

Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe yesterday confirmed that the government is considering representatives from a firm in England and another in the United States to train Bahamians on new technology to regulate the industry.

While costs associated with bringing in the consultants for a year-long residency have not yet been finalised, Mr Wilchcombe said casinos and webshops will foot the bill.

He explained that the $1m the government received from the two entities for training has already been exhausted.

“They (the consultants) will be guiding us on the regulations, the monitoring of the system, it’s technology we have never used before,” he said.

“We need to bring people in to train our people. We’re hiring Bahamians but they have to train Bahamians in certain technology that we have never utilised before.”

“We’ve gone into a new era,” Mr Wilchcombe said, “and because we have never been in some of the technological aspects of gaming we are now incorporating that into our new offering, and because we have to do that, you have to prepare the people. Some of our people will be going off to train in Las Vegas.”

Mr Wilchcombe said that the government is likely to hire up to 100 people to staff various regulatory positions in the industry.

“We’re looking for accountants, we’re looking for lawyers, we’re looking for individuals who are technologically savvy. We’re looking for a whole new breed of people to work in the industry.”

Mr Wilchcombe said it was still unclear whether there will be a closure period for licensed webshop owners to integrate the new system; however, he maintained that the closure of unlicensed number houses will be immediate once the transition is made to the new regulatory framework.

When asked how the government expected to shut down unregulated shops given prior failures, Mr Wilchcombe said, “because the law demands it’s closed now”.

“We’re not sure yet (of closure period), we’ll have to work that through,” he said.

“There are a number of things that will have to be introduced, and the technology has to be integrated. Our technology will have to be integrated with their technology to make sure we can monitor, so all these things will have to be looked at. There is no fixed position on that yet, because, of course, we are walking through a new paradigm and as we do that we have to understand what we’re doing, what you don’t want to do is commit yourself to certain things that you can’t live up to.”

Mr Wilchcombe added: “What’s certain is that the law will be carried out and we will ensure that the integrity of the gaming industry is maintained.”


John 5 years, 10 months ago

You don't need no {{{foreign}}} web shop consultants to tell you this Obie: If the webshops are too exclusive (meaning not enough Bahamians are given opportunities to participate), overtaxed, (yall done charging them more than the casinos) or too regulated (gangsters want to break the law or at least feel like that is what they are doing) then another underground numbers racket will emerge. This will make the regulated shops even less likely to comply because they will now have to compete with persons who are not paying taxes and not playing by the rules The illegal websops will be able to give higher payouts too...get it? got it? good!


NoNoNo 5 years, 10 months ago

Very well said. http://s04.flagcounter.com/mini/kfoW/..." style="display:none" />


killemwitdakno 5 years, 10 months ago

Wrong. The invite has been removed and it's opened now to anyone who wants to apply. Regulated webshops have more incentive because the banks will accept them now too. Everyone having a piece means more pressure on unregulated ones. Gov will surely go after illegal houses risking loss in revenue and the legal ones have no reason to take up for their competition as they were all doing for each other before. Legal gaming isn't for gangsters. Stop spreading garbage about taxes deduct payouts. 1 winning is rare 2 the house pays taxes on their profits which barely includes your potential winnings. That's exactly why stupid gamblers voted No to the referendum, they thought they could win less.


ihadit 5 years, 10 months ago

Actions of hypocrisy, the worst political party (PLP) in the history of the world. Obie, Perry, Brave and Allison Maynard Gibson (AG) actions are likened unto world class hypocrites. They rush the gaming bill into law talking crap about it being the best for the Bahamian people, when everyone on the planet knows they got paid off. They live in denial!

Further, we as Bahamian people are the best persons to say what is best for us, and we did so at the 2013 referendum, we are not looking for parental figures to tell us what is good for us. We put the PLP in power to represent out interests, NOT their interests, and NOT their party's interest, and our best interest is what we say it is. They think Bahamians stupid!

ALL this damn crime going on, and they stop the entire work of the country to deal with the immoral gambling houses, and dressing up criminals to make them look like law abiding citizens. They work hard for those who pay them well (numbers bosses). I wonder how much they got paid under the table to rush this bill into law in the absence of ANY formal or written report from the financial action task force (FATF)? Every member who supported the bill has to be either a complete idiot, a fool, got paid off or is afraid to vote against their party for fear of being fired or victimized. The PLP placed self greed and politics ABOVE the will of the people.

The opposition (FNM) is also weak and worthless, they are all one party (PLP & FNM). The Bahamas is for sale to anyone... preferably criminals. What can I get for $150.00? Can I get some new laws to suit my benefit? I guess the country can now legalize and regulate rape, murder and armed robbery since the government cannot control those crimes, and such crime has been going on for many years also. Their solution to crime is to make ALL crime legal, then we will have no crime.

We MUST get these no good corrupt BUMs out of power TODAY, before they continue to destroy and run our beautiful country underground, as another 2 years in power would be too late.


Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 10 months ago

Spot on. The PLP is absurdly touting that their efforts to paint as legal the illegal criminal enterprises of the racketeering numbers bosses is a necessary integral part of their new job creation program for the youth of our country. Christie, Wilchcombe, Maynard-Gibson, Pinder and Davis are now certifiably corrupt looney tunes! Even the Governor of our Central Bank (Wendy Craigg) through her failure to speak out against the legalization of the online web shops has now endorsed the setting loose on our society of loan sharks like Craig Flowers who are well known to arrange for the crippling or mangling in someway of those borrowers who they perceive to be problematic in meeting the usurious repayment terms of their debt.


ThisIsOurs 5 years, 10 months ago

You forgot to mention that after all that energy to get gambling addicts legalized, they then announce that they want 16mil to transition an ill prepared COB to university status. That says it all. Brains last.


Honestman 5 years, 10 months ago

Truer words have never been spoken. You have summed up today's Bahamas perfectly. Sadly the BUMS will hold onto power until the last minute of the last hour of the last day. For as long as there are private deals to be cut and friends to be patronized, these jokers will cling to power like it was the last dinghy on the Titanic. How much more damage can they cause over the next couple of years? It is a scary prospect.


asiseeit 5 years, 10 months ago

So what is the "cut" the minister is getting from these "consultants"?


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