The government of Jamaica is looking to fast-track the regulation of online gambling, officials revealed during the recently held Caribbean Gaming Show and Summit. The Caribbean island nation thus wants to capitalize on the advancement of technology and the rapid growth of the iGaming sector.
Jamaican Minister of Finance and Public Service Hon. Audley Shaw said during the gaming conference that online gambling is happening in his country and that their intention is to facilitate the provision of this type of offering in a regulated and well-monitored environment.
Jamaican officials hope that a piece of online gambling legislation will be crafted and approved before the planned three-way merger of the country’s gambling regulators – the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC), the Jamaica Racing Commission, and the Casino Gaming Commission.
The regulatory bodies are to be combined into a single entity – the Jamaica Gaming Commission, and the process is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The move comes in a bid for the sun-kissed island nation to improve its monitoring capabilities.
Mr. Shaw told Caribbean Gaming Show and Summit attendees that the BGLC is working on the establishment of a new framework under which Jamaica’s online gambling industry will be regulated. The new regime will allow interested gaming and betting operators to apply for a license and thus operate in the country. According to the Finance Minister, the provision of licensed services will, among other things, bring much-needed additional funds to the island nation’s coffers.
The official further pointed out that he and his colleagues are well-aware of the threat for online gambling to be used as a medium for money laundering and other illicit activities. Minister Shaw explained that the government has been working with banks to address the issue in an effective manner.
The regulation of Jamaica’s online gambling market was discussed on previous occasions but there was not much progress made by the government. In 2014, the Ministry of Finance revealed that officials were considering the introduction of a new set of regulations that would allow licensed iGaming and betting operations in the country. The effort failed back then, but as it seems the idea of a regulated market was not scrapped completely.
Jamaica has also been in the process of expanding its casino industry by bringing integrated resort experience since 2014. The government approved back then the establishment of two such resorts. Construction on both projects was supposed to begin in mid-2016, but obstacles of different nature have delayed the process by a whole year.
Robert Johnson is an experienced web author and blogger. He has over three years of experience as a freelance journalist and writer.