The rift between Jamaica’s Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission, BGLC and some stakeholders over an alleged move to issue a lottery license to Mahoe Gaming is deepening
The Jamaica Gaming Commission has written the BGLC expressing what it says are serious concerns over the developments.
The letter from the Gaming Association Secretary, Sudu Ramani, was dispatched today to the BGLC Head, Vitus Evans.
The letter was also copied to at least two senior Government officials.
The Gaming Association told Mr. Evans that recent media reports have linked the BGLC to an expedited effort to issue a lottery license to a new entity.
The Association told the BGLC that it has serious concerns.
It’s calling on the commission to immediately carry out an INDEPENDENT and TRANSPARENT study of Jamaica’s gaming and lottery industry.
According to the Gaming Association, the study should be done with a view to determining world wide best practices that are applicable to the local industry and the regulation of the sector.
The letter was copied to Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Finance Minister, Dr. Nigel Clarke.
In it, the Jamaica Gaming Association says before any material changes take place within the industry, a study should be done to determine the effect of an additional licence.
The Association says as Gaming Lounge operators, they are mindful of the negative effects changes in the Lottery model may have on their businesses.
According to the gaming association, the pending competition is expected to see increased payouts by competing lottery operators.
They say this will have a negative impact on lounges, as well as revenues to the government.
The Association says it’s also concerned that high payouts from numbers games may also attract money launderers.
Additionally, the Gaming Association is recommending that a thorough analysis be carried out on the impact which another lottery license may have on Government Revenues and the viability of the Sector.
The Association says it must be noted that the BGLC is solely funded by proceeds from the gaming sector, and as its regulator, the Commission must to be mindful of the feedback and recommendations of those already in the sector.
The Association ended its letter by telling the BGLC that it views with some suspicion, the speed with which the Commission is acting to issue the license, without any regard to worldwide trends to move from multiple to single operators.
The Gaming Association says it’s also concerned by media reports that Mahoe Gaming has stated that their service provider has already spent in excess of US 3 Million dollars without them being granted a license.
According to the Association, the expenditure has taken place although the BGLC has not made public the name of the service provider as was done in the case of all previous applicants.
The gaming association says it finds the entire situation surrounding the new license allocation unsettling and is requesting swift and transparent action from the BGLC.
A representative of Supreme Ventures currently has a suit before the Court which seeks to have the BGLC mandated to carry out an independent study of the potential impact the issuance of another lottery license may have on the sector.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court struck out an application from Mahoe Gaming to formally be included as a party to the suit.