Categorized | National News

Minister Sticks to July 1 Date for Web Shop Legalisation

Tourism and Gaming Minister Obie Wilchcombe said Wednesday that despite much scepticism that the government would be able to regulate web shops in the country by July 1, the government is on its way to doing just that.

“We intend to proceed, we have been working assiduously, I think we have to understand this in context, we are not the first to cause this to be regularised, the web shops,” he said.

“The former administration had prepared legislation for 2010 and they’ve prepared the way in which to regularise the web shops. We have been working with legislation proposed by the former administration, legislation that we’ve looked at from our consultants that have come in and we have been talking with the web shop owners and all the others, we’re working to ensure that we can make the date.”

He added that the prime minister made it very clear that revenue is of concern and for this reason the government will ensure that they quickly as possible meet the date and address additional gaming options.

“There are many options including the national lottery as was presented by the minister responsible for sports, remember when we had the debate initially he had spoken very strongly about the need to ensure that we can call for greater funding for sports and for culture, this is not the first step but the option is still there,” he said.

In March, Minister Wilchcombe first announced the government’s plan bring regulations to the House of Assembly to legalise the web shop industry by July 1 during the mid-year budget contribution.

This announcement was followed by a mounting criticism from the Bahamas Christian Council and Bahamians who voted against legalising the industry.

However, Mr. Wilchcombe has since said that he respects the Church’s position but stressed that the government must make the tough decisions and govern the country.

Recently the Minister of Legal Affairs Damien Gomez spoke out against the July 1 start date which he reportedly referred to as “unrealistic.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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