JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) is urging persons to report illegal gambling through Crime Stop’s toll-free line, 311.
  • Illegal gambling, which is the acceptance of wagers without a licence, affects the economy, says Director of Licensing and Registration and Acting Director of Enforcement, Maurice Thompson, at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, yesterday (October 11).
  • Mr. Thompson said that in one particular case it was found that an illegal gambling operator who was apprehended, had been making $400 million and not paying any tax.

The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) is urging persons to report illegal gambling through Crime Stop’s toll-free line, 311.

Illegal gambling, which is the acceptance of wagers without a licence, affects the economy, says Director of Licensing and Registration and Acting Director of Enforcement, Maurice Thompson, at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, yesterday (October 11).

He pointed out that the gambling industry in 2015 had sales of $119 billion, with a payout of $103.15 billion, adding that the total tax collected during that period from the industry was $5.45 billion.

Mr. Thompson noted that the taxes collected through regulated gambling are used to finance the Government’s Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.

With more than $690 million from taxes in the gambling industry going into the Fund in 2015, the Director explained that “when illegal activities take place, it undermines the pool of funds”.

“When the athletes are to attend the upcoming World Championships, as well as some of the construction of sporting infrastructure, such as basketball courts in inner-city communities, or the expansion of some hospitals, CHASE is one of the main sources of funding,” Mr. Thompson said.

He added that with illegal and unregulated activities, there is a significant loss of revenue, as these persons are unregistered and do not pay taxes.

Mr. Thompson said that in one particular case it was found that an illegal gambling operator who was apprehended, had been making $400 million and not paying any tax.

The Director pointed out that in the 2014-2015 fiscal year there were 53 reports of illegal gambling; in the 2015-2016 fiscal year there were 47 reports, and since this year there have been 14 reports.

The BGLC has now partnered with Crime Stop to allow members of the public to make anonymous reports through Crime Stop’s 311 toll-free number; and will offer persons cash rewards of up to $25,000 if the information provided results in an arrest and charge.

“With the new initiative between BGLC and Crime Stop, this will allow for a greater number of reports, more arrests, and more convictions, which will contribute to a better gaming industry and a better Jamaica,” Mr. Thompson said.