Categorized | National News

Sands: Baha Mar Would Welcome Bahamians Gambling

If gaming was legalised for Bahamians, Baha Mar would welcome Bahamians to gamble at the mega resort set to open its doors at the end of 2014 with open arms, said Baha Mar Senior Vice President of External and Government Affairs Robert Sands.

Mr. Sands appeared as a guest of Jones and Company Sunday where he addressed among other things the desire of casino gambling to be extended to Bahamians.

“If the government of The Bahamas in their wisdom made it legal for Bahamians to gamble tomorrow, we will welcome them with open arms,” Mr. Sands said. “Baha Mar is not a resort that excludes or wants to exclude Bahamians from participating in any of the offerings we have.”

He also noted that Baha Mar is pushing the government to amend the Gaming Act Regulations to allow for its gaming licence to include online gaming throughout the resort.

Mr. Sands said that ideally Baha Mar would like for its guests to use a Baha Mar mobile device app to gamble from any jurisdiction where it is legal.

“We do not want to limit gaming to what has been traditionally defined as a specific location,” he said.

“We would like the license to cover the premises so that if you are on holiday and you want to lie on the beach on a lounge chair and you have your IPhone, IPAD or a Blackberry and you have the Baha Mar gaming app and you can play whatever you wish.”

There is also a push from the mega resort for the regulations to be amended to make The Bahamas a more competitive market.

“We made 17 proposals to the government in terms of modernising the gaming regulations,” Mr. Sands said.

“The gaming regulations have not been addressed in earnest since the late 1960s. These regulations basically were best in class practices which exist in major jurisdictions today whether it is Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Singapore, Macau etc. A number of these [proposals] I think the government will embrace and hopefully be very favourable upon. We did make recommendations for an entry levy for Bahamians to come. We don’t know where the government will rule on that particular position.

“By and large, the majority of the proposals are basically proposals that will level the playing field for gaming for The Bahamas and take us out of a non-competitive environment.”

Earlier this year, Bahamians voted against legislation that would have regularised and taxed web shops as well as the creation of a national lottery.
Baha Mar is set to open at the end of 2014.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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