Derek Chin: Shut down, jail whe whe operators - EntornoInteligente

Entornointeligente.com / The trinidad Guardian / The Gaming Industry in T&T should be restructured and regularized as it can be a major contributor to the economy.

This is the view of business magnate Derek Chin, the person who started the online lottery in T&T and lobbied the Government to follow suit. Wendell Mottley, the then Minister of Finance, signed the contract with Gtech in July 1994.

Upset with the proposed ten per cent tax on winnings from National Lottery Control Board games, which is to take effect in January 2018, Chin said it will further hurt “the sales of the legit operators”.

He called for the shut down and possible arrest of illegal operators. “They are only taking away bets from the National Lotteries Control Board…unless they arrest and shut down and put them in jail, then the problem will still exist.

“Many illegals are being protected by unscrupulous behind-the-scenes people, most likely with police involvement. We all know who the illegal operators are and where they can be found but yet no arrests are made. It’s so obvious…the same thing is applying with the private members clubs and casinos. The industry is unregulated.”

NLCB’s board has also strongly objected to the proposed ten per cent tax on winnings as they are bound to lose an estimated $163 million on its net returns. The board recommended several initiatives that are expected to rake in a possible tax-free surplus of over $373 million. One of the initiatives is to introduce Play Whe on Sundays.

He said the focus should be on what kind of industry is needed and its value in developing the economy.

“It can be a major contributor to tourism and other sectors. Gaming, once regularised and balanced, can be a major economic contributor to T&T’s economy, like it is in so many countries around the world.

“The gaming industry is the second largest industry outside the weapons and arms business. Countries with proper and smart policies gain significant contributions from a marriage between the tourist business and a healthy gaming industry.

“Casinos should be linked to hotel and hospitality development. Lottery should be focused on national development and not all over the place, with nothing material to show by trying to support everything and having little effect on serious development that is meaningful.”

Chin questioned: “After 23 years, what significant developments or evidence of any sustainable successful venture can be shown for all the money earned and contributed? What is the legacy of the lottery?

“We should have had great programmes in place, funded by the lottery, with maybe a cultural museum or a world famous Queen’s Park Savannah maintained and developed in pristine condition or some physical identifiable projects of great value. Instead, all we have is the giving away of money to many non development or relatively unimportant causes. Nothing relevant to show or any measurement of success.”

Chin reiterated that a properly operated and regulated industry can be a significant contributor to the Consolidated Fund and the tourism industry.

 

Derek Chin: Shut down, jail whe whe operators

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