8th May 2019
The Bahamas Gaming Operators Association (BGOA), responds to comments made by the Minister of Finance on Domestic Gaming tax payments.
As reported in yesterday’s dailies, the Minister of Finance – Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, was quoted as saying “There are two of the gaming houses – one that is completely compliant, the other partially compliant and there are some that are not compliant…” . The Bahamas Gaming Operators Association (BGOA), wishes to unequivocally refute those statements, as wholly inaccurate.
Currently, there are three (3) operators that have paid all of their outstanding taxes, which represents 70% of the operator taxes due to the Government. Therefore, the Government has collected the majority of the outstanding operator taxes due for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
We are uncertain as to why the Minister of Finance would make such a public statement, that he knows or ought to know is demonstratively false.
As for patron tax on lotto winnings, initially a tax on patron deposits, Gaming operators could not lawfully begin collecting these taxes on 1st April 2019, as the Government intended.
To implement such a tax, operators’ systems must be modified, internationally tested, certified and approved by the Regulator—The Gaming Board for The Bahamas—as fit for purpose. Only once that process is completed can the collection of patron taxes on lotto winnings commence.
The Minister ought to be aware of this fact and to intimate that this component of the taxes is outstanding is misleading.
The Bahamas Gaming Operators Association (BGOA), has always maintained that the domestic gaming industry is willing to pay its fair share. Where there may be outstanding matters between some operators and the government, meaningful dialogue is on-going and we are hopeful that a resolution will be found in short order.
The Bahamas Gaming Operators Association (BGOA) is a non-profit organization that represents the majority of the licensees of the domestic gaming industry.