Jamaica to legalize online gambling

Jamaica to Legalize Online Gambling

For many years, several gambling operators have been working out of Jamaica and the government says that it is time to regulate them.  If Jamaican government is successful, it will allow them to collect taxes and charge licensing fee for interactive casinos operating in the country.

The change was proposed to the Jamaican legislation the government ministers during the 7th Caribbean Gaming Show and Summit held in Montego Bay last week.  The Jamaican finance and public service minister, Audley Shaw, talked about the rapidly expending iGaming industry and called for the Jamaica to regulate it.

The reasons why the government chose to aggressively move towards legalizing online gambling according to Shaw is to “allow us to better position Jamaica to take advantage of the emerging product offerings that now characterize the global landscape, such as internet and mobile gaming, which includes virtual and fantasy betting,”.

Sports Betting Software provider, PricePerPlayer.com said that Shaw wants to form the Jamaica Gaming Commission (JGC) to oversee all betting on the island.  In addition, the JGC would also be a consolidation of the three current entities that currently oversees the gambling sector in Jamaica which are: the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission, the Jamaica Racing Commission, and the Casino Gaming Commission.

Previously, the Jamaican government offered low taxes to casino resorts to make the island nation more attractive to investors. This took place back in 2012 where the gross gaming revenue would have a 10% tax which is low compared to the 15%-30% tax elsewhere in the world.

What the tax and fee if the new bill passes have not been mentioned in details but it will require all iGaming operators in Jamaica to pay an up-front licensing fee.