The Jamaican government is reportedly moving forward with plans to make online gambling legal in the Caribbean island nation.
Citing various sources, business-to-business magazine, iGaming Business, reports that Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and Public Service, Audley Shaw, the process of regulating such activities has already been initiated by the nation’s government. Shaw also reportedly said that talks have already taken place between the country and various major investors interested in supporting the legalization effort.
Citing the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, the news magazine reports that Shaw said, “Since last year, the Casino Commission has met with two large international investors, which are now advanced in the preparation of their applications for Integrated Resource Development status.” And, “With these developments, Shaw said, “there is a lot of optimism for the growth potential of the gaming sector.”
Preempting potential regulation, Shaw reportedly said that a Memorandum of Understanding has been formed by the Jamaican Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission with law-enforcement authorities in order to share intelligence. Shaw said the advanced move “is a major step in the fight against illicit gaming; we must have eyes and ears on the ground providing information on which the authorities can act speedily,” according to the news agency.
Shaw reportedly went on to explain that according to reports, illegal gambling operations in the country are pocketing an estimated two billion dollars each year; a big chunk of which is used to bankroll the criminal underworld and that “we must band together to stamp out this phenomenon.”
Finally, Shaw said, illegal gambling operations rob governments of revenues and “curtails the activities of lawful entities, when they are forced to invest significant sums to bolster their internal mechanism.”