Categorized | Business, National News

Gov’t Can Now Lower Vat Rate

In the wake of the government announcing its decision to legalise web shop gaming by July 1, a veteran hotelier said if this does come to fruition, the government should be able to lower the proposed percentage of Value Added Tax (VAT).

Senior Vice President of External and Governmental Affairs at Baha Mar Robert Sands said the announcement is consistent with the suggestions they have made to the government in regards to considering a “smart tax” as an alternative to VAT.

“So we welcome this initiative, we absolutely welcome this because we believe if the government does this it will raise some much needed taxable income for them and it also strengthens our case that VAT does not need to be introduced at 15 per cent,” he said.

“The casino industry hopeful that the government will also bring to Parliament before July 1 the new casino regulations and modernisation bill at the same time they bring the legislation for web shop gaming regulation, we are extremely hopeful that both of these will come together and that the two industries can co-exist.”

While delivering a contribution to the 2013/2014 mid-year budget debate in the House of Assembly Wednesday night, Minister Wilchcombe told parliamentarians that he would present a regulation proposal for webs shops in two weeks.
The minister also announced plans to revamp operations at the Gaming Board to create the Gaming Commission.

“It will have a fulltime chairman and an executive body that will monitor what is going on in the country,” Minister Wilchcombe added.

“Insofar as the gaming laws are concerned in the country we’re going to change those. The gaming laws must be competitive. But look what Bermuda is doing, gaming must be competitive and they are jumping in on gaming.”

Former President of the Bahamas Hotel Employers Association (BHEA) J. Barrie Farrington, recently told the Journal he supports the government’s plan to regulate the web shop industry because of its benefits which he said would create “substantial income” for the country.

However, he said there should be tough but fair licensing requirements just like the ones imposed upon Bahamian casinos.
“Quite frankly in today’s circumstances there are no differences in operations except that net proceeds for web shops end up in the pocket of a few,” he said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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