Categorized | National News

Baha Mar Applauds Gaming Bill

Baha Mar officials yesterday applauded the government for tabling what they call “a sweeping revitalisation of the country’s gaming regulations” after Tourism and Gaming Minister Obie Wilchcombe tabled the long awaited Gaming Bill 2014 in the House of Assembly Wednesday.

In a move that marks the first major update since Bahamian casinos were legalised in 1969, the resort’s executives said in a press statement yesterday that the regulatory changes would allow Bahamian casinos to offer international travellers the latest gaming industry amenities.

The new regulations, Baha Mar officials said, would help to expand The Bahamas’ international tourism industry, which accounts for approximately 55 per cent of all Bahamian jobs and nearly half of the country’s gross domestic product.

Baha Mar, which has worked with other casino operators in the collaborative public and private sector effort to modernise The Bahamas’ gaming laws, thanked Prime Minister Perry Christie and the government for taking a major step in expanding The Bahamas’ international tourism business.

They said the proposed changes would generate new Bahamian jobs; stimulate private investment; and support the government’s investment of hundreds of millions in tourism infrastructure, including a $409 million airport expansion, enhanced cruise-ship facilities and roadwork improvements.

“These regulatory updates would provide The Bahamas and Baha Mar with a sustainable competitive advantage, which is vital for an economy driven by international tourism,” Baha Mar’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sarkis Izmirlian said.

“The Bahamas has long been known as a stable gaming jurisdiction, and these new regulations would put us on a level playing field with the world’s most successful casino markets such as Las Vegas, Singapore and Macau. The regulations also would allow us to offer private VIP gaming salons, enhanced lines of credit, gaming junkets and other amenities vital to attracting affluent international casino customers.”

Paul V. Pusateri, Baha Mar’s Chief Operating Officer, said, “The new regulations and laws would enhance Baha Mar’s ability to generate strong gaming revenues. Technology-driven amenities such as internet gaming, mobile gaming and in-play sports betting will help differentiate The Bahamas in the highly competitive gaming sector. They definitely will help Baha Mar attract players from the Eastern United States, Latin America, Asia and other markets that will be important to our success.”

Highlights of the proposed new regulations include proxy wagering, mobile gaming, internet gaming, in-play sports betting and policies to promote responsible gaming.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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