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AML chief: ‘Size of pie yet to be seen’

* Uncertainties over Xmas spending * Hopes December ‘uptick’ will persist  * All retailers see October/November fall-off

BISX-listed AML Foods has warned that “the size of the pie” remains unknown when it comes to Bahamian consumer spending this Christmas. Gavin Watchorn, the group’s president and chief executive, told Tribune Business that while it was “very confident” of gaining its due share, the extent of holiday expenditure was difficult to predict given continued economic uncertainty and fragile confidence.

Gaming Board lacks ‘oversight structure’ for numbers houses

* Minister: Changes to make regulator ‘more relevant’ * Gaming Board will ‘look very different’ in five years * ‘92,000 didn’t vote for us to maintain status quo’

RECENT downsizings are intended to make the Gaming Board “more relevant” and help it cope with the “seismic changes” created by web shops, a Cabinet minister said yesterday. Dionisio D’Aguilar, who has ministerial responsibility for gaming, told Tribune Business that the industry regulator will “look extremely different from the Gaming Board of today within five years”.

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‘Wild Wild West’ web shop oversight hits Gaming Board

* AG: ‘Difficulty’ undermines ‘blue ribbon’ status * Gov’t ‘seconding’ anti-money launder specialists * Will ‘address forthwith’ web shop money transfers

THE Gaming Board’s “blue ribbon” reputation has been hurt by taking on regulation of the “Wild Wild West” web shop sector, the Attorney General said yesterday. Carl Bethel QC told Tribune Business that the Government was now seconding more experienced anti-money laundering regulators from other agencies to the Gaming Board in a bid to get to grips with a sector deemed “high risk”.

AG: We’ll deal with ‘major slippage’ in anti-launder regime

THE Attorney General yesterday pledged to address the Bahamas’ “significant slippage” in the battle against financial crime through roll-out of its National Risk framework before year-end.

Bahamas ‘on probation’: 17-step action plan cure

The Government has detailed a 17-step ‘action plan’ to strengthen the Bahamas’ anti-money laundering regime, with a top regulator describing this nation as “on probation” over increasing weaknesses.

Gov’t narrows inner city taxation breaks

The Government yesterday appeared to narrow its planned VAT and inner-city ‘tax breaks’, while seeking to deliver on campaign promises of accountability, transparency and good governance.

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Governor to ‘bridge gap’ between banks, web shops

The Central Bank’s governor has reaffirmed his commitment to “bridge the gap” between the commercial banking industry and web shop operators, and help ease his licensees’ compliance concerns.

QC: Legalisation of web shops has defied the critics

The web shop industry’s legalisastion has produced the opposite effect to the predictions of many critcs, a well-known QC has argued.

Freeport investment law blasted as ‘anti-business’

Freeport’s new tax incentives law was yesterday branded an “abomination” and “anti-business” by an FNM Senator, who argued that it will undermine both the city’s founding agreement and economic growth.

Ex-Hard Rock franchisee queries transfer to ex-MP

Hard Rock Cafe's former Nassau franchisee has questioned why the business was so readily handed to its Bahamian landlord, when a decade earlier he had been "forced" to pay $1 million to end their partnership.

MSC cruise port: No lease agreement yet

No agreement has yet been reached to transfer the lease of Ocean Cay to Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) for its private cruise port, with the current holder saying of the project: "It won't be done overnight."

Developer seeks $10m in new equity finance

The developers behind Eleuthera’s French Leave Resort and Marina yesterday said they were “cautiously optimistic” about securing an additional $10 million in equity financing to fund the build-out of 20 more villas.

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Wilson: Ingraham responsible for Sth. Eleuthera’s ‘demise’

The developer adjacent to a newly-announced $100 million resort project believes they will together make Cotton Bay “the Caribbean’s premier destination”, as he blasted former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham for decisions that caused South Eleuthera’s “demise”.

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Bahamians overlook ‘significant progress’

Too many Bahamians are overlooking this nation’s “significant economic progress” because they are focusing on issues that “have not a Christ thing to do with sustainable development”, a leading businessman believes.

Baha Mar delay: ‘We’re all losers’

A leading businessman yesterday rounded on the “despicable critics” of Baha Mar’s principals, and said of the $3.5 billion project’s delayed opening: “We are all losers.”

QC: Port requires ‘economic Viagra’

An outspoken QC yesterday urged the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) to “take a shot of Economic Viagra”, arguing that it had become a mere “collection agency” as opposed to a quasi-governmental developer.

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‘The s*** has hit the fan’

The Bahamian economy is paying the price for the Government’s “financial disasters” in attempting to run businesses, a leading executive blasting yesterday: “The s* has hit the fan.”

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QC demands new Port ownership

A well-known QC has called for new ownership and management at the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), arguing that this is a major reason for Freeport’s “listlessness”.

Gov't 'dragging on everything'

The Tax Coalition’s co-chair yesterday said there ad been no contact with the Government since the Budget’s unveiling more than a month ago, complaining that the Christie administration was “dragging their feet on everything” vital to the private sector.

Lyford Cay Club in $17m shopping centre purchase

The Lyford Cay Club is moving to close a $17 million deal to acquire its old shopping centre from New Providence Development Company, with plans to convert it into a mixed-use retail, residential and marina project.