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Numbers House Hired Ex-Board Chairman

THE hiring of former Gaming Board chairman Terah Rahming by Grand Bahama web shop Chances Game has exposed a loophole in gaming legislation.

The recent hire has left officials with grave “concerns”, a Gaming Board insider said yesterday, adding there is little the board can do outside of making recommendations to the Minnis administration as to how the loophole can be closed.

The Gaming Act 2014 does not prohibit employees moving from the regulator into the private sector, giving way to the potential for conflict.

Another insider suggested the issue may have been overlooked because the legislation was rushed under the former government.

“You don’t want somebody sitting down in an office making decisions - number one where they might be conflicting in a year or so and they might be making decisions knowing they will be working for these people in a matter of months. This is something that is just not done because you know what all the household secrets are,” the insider who asked to remain anonymous said yesterday.

“The potential for conflict is palpable and we are surprised that they didn’t deal with that in the legislation. I mean they were rushing, but if you are going to take best practices into account you need to apply it.”

Another board executive close to the matter said: “There are plans to add it in shortly. The board is very concerned about it and will be making recommendations to the minister to plug the loophole.”

The matter has not been the only issue concerning the country’s gaming industry since the Minnis administration took office.

An audit of the Gaming Board is currently underway.

And Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar, who has responsibility for gaming, warned recently that the way in which web shops have been used could land the Bahamas on a financial blacklist.

Earlier this month, the minister said as people increasingly use gaming houses as a means to move money some of the clearing banks are closing branches throughout the Bahamas.

He noted there is worry that this unregulated activity may put the country on an international “black list,” affecting the stability of the country’s banking sector.

While the limited number of gaming houses enjoy the “benefits of being a cartel,” Mr D’Aguilar said the “cash strapped” government should increase tax revenue from this sector, suggesting the Minnis administration could be considering increased taxes for operators.

He prefaced this by saying in reviewing the financial statements of operators, they were receiving “eye popping” profits.

Mr D’Aguilar said the Gaming Board will further push gaming houses to become more creative in controlling out of control gambling.

The former Christie administration legalized the sector in 2014, despite an overwhelming no vote the previous year.

Comments

DDK 2 years, 1 month ago

Government should give the web shops until the end of the year to wrap up their business and close their doors PERMANENTLY. Better yet, have them closed by the end of November so Bahamian merchants can experience some good holiday income again and Bahamians can get their bills paid.

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Delivert 2 years, 1 month ago

Yep!! All those unemployed workers would have an awesome holiday, and the limited amount of families that own most of the businesses that we patronize will be smiling all the way to the bank.

DDK - how much does the web shops generate in taxes annually and what's being done with it? That's the main question.

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bogart 2 years, 1 month ago

Figures sometime ago is that the 8 businesses revenues are some 137 million or so. That does not include rental buildings yo govt or condos etc. Before, during and after legislation.

It is not a matter of revenue or social impact on communities which the LongIsland community leadrs are complaining about. The web shops are now legal by law it is not their fault. They democratically did what they had to do.

Now questions should be raised on the Police Commissionet who is being promoted as a representative of our Bahamaland on why when the web shop were illegal the Police could not shut the illegal business down but yet micracuously the Bahamas authorities was able to have full compliance as no other country in the Caribbean for businesses to be made to pay Value AddedTax on every single chargable item. Or why is it that the a uthorities can identofy every voter in ever lil jook jook corner in every constitiency but could not loacte or shut down the then illegal web shops.

This issue does not seem to be going away even though they are now legal and they dhould not be persevuted for what they are. The govt made them legal.

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John 2 years, 1 month ago

Will the web shops hire me? I am willing to come out of retirement to earn a 6 figure salary for another two years. Background in accounting and finance.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 1 month ago

The webshops are just copying what happens in the courts .......... the government hired a foreigner (Murrio Ducille) as a prosecutor - and now he is criminal defense attorney ...... who knows every trick in the book to keep the criminals out of jail .......... loopholes are everywhere.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 1 month ago

The corrupt racketeering thug Sebas Bastian of Island Luck has given cushy appointments to many shamelessly greedy former senior regulators for the purpose of "buying" influence in the regulatory bodies responsible for issuing permits and licenses to one or more of his de facto criminal enterprises. Scumbag Bastian, through hirings, the giving of directorships and granting of lucrative consultancy arrangements, has now retained the services of all of the following soul-less former senior regulators who unconscionably have peddled and continue to pedal their influence with unscrupulous regulators and politicians on Bastian's behalf:

  • Julian Francis - former governor of the Central Bank
  • Hilliary Deveaux - former head of the Securities Commission
  • Alfred Sears - former Attorney General and Minister of Education
  • Terah Rahming - until very recently chairman of the Gaming Board

And it should be noted that Bastian has retained Ed Fields as a director of BMG, the holding company for his various investment, construction, real estate and other operating enterprises that include an insurance company. And it just so happens the spouse of Ed Fields is none other than Michele Fields-Turnquest who is the Insurance Commissioner responsible for licensing and overseeing the activities of insurers. No doubt there are many other similar very unseemly relationships that low-life Bastian has effectively "bought" for the purpose of getting his way in every and any thing he chooses to do in order to grow his money laundering and other illegal activities. The same is no doubt true of Craig Flowers who controls the Flowers chain of wen shops. Something must be done to stop all of this nonsense!

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