Categorized | National News

‘Don’t Penalize Gaming Houses with Taxes’

Former Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe said the tax regime that is set to be imposed on the gaming industry is a penalty tax. 

The government’s reasoning behind taxing this industry was to help create revenue for the country. To that, Mr. Wilchombe questioned why not increase taxation for casino operators whose taxes, he said, saw a decrease.

“There was a time when casino operators were at 18 percent.  Now, they are below 10 percent. Why don’t you put that up?” Mr. Wilchcombe told The Bahama Journal.

“If you want to think, then why don’t you say, ‘We want to bring you up to the level of the gaming houses.’ And why would that not be a good argument?

“It would be a great argument because you say tourism is doing very good, so your numbers are up.

“So wouldn’t this be the right time to do it? So why penalize them? That’s a penalty because they were opposed to it.”

Mr. Wilchcombe added that he thinks there is a lack of communication between the government and gaming operators and the government doesn’t understand how that industry can be helpful to the economy.

“They have been duly responsible during the time when we were there. The faux pas was caused last year by the government,” he said.

“What they ought to be doing is sitting with the gaming houses and talking about how they can help in building the economy.  Make them a part of what you are trying to do.

“If you need more revenue, then figure out how can we do that? Do we work with you or do we allow you as a group to create the lottery? 

“The lottery has a particular distinction because it will allow you then to sell lottery tickets to the 5 million tourists so your numbers can go up and our earnings can go up and the government can set aside funding for education, for national security and for things that are necessary, that you’re not getting new revenue from because let’s ask ourselves where’s the new revenue coming from right now?”

The former tourism minister is advising the government to work with gaming operators and not penalize them.    

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook