KINGSTON — The House of Representatives has approved two sets of casino gaming regulations dealing with applications, and the games and manner of operations.
Tabling the companion measures on October 18 sitting at the Jamaica Conference Centre downtown Kingston, Minister of Finance, Hon. Audley Shaw, explained that the regulations are being presented to Parliament at this time in order to facilitate the forward planning of prospective applicants of approved integrated resort developments.
“The regulations, when passed, will signal to prospective developers and investors that we are now ready to receive their application and it is intended that not more than three orders for integrated resort development will be issued,” he stated.
The Casino (Application for Declaration of Approved Integrated Resort Development) regulations 2011, which allows for the smooth management of casinos, are guided by Section nine of the Casino Gaming Act, which stipulates the number of hotels to be contained in the integrated resort development, including room stock; the manner in which the developer proposes to operate the development; the financing to be applied to the establishment and operational maintenance; and the economic effects of the operation.
The regulations include the form of application for declaration as an approved integrated resort development, with guidance notes as to required contents; and a personal history disclosure form, which is to be completed by each individual holding five per cent or more of the voting capital of the applicant, the chief executive officer of the applicant, each director of the applicant, every other officer and senior employee of the applicant, and any individual, who is expected to operate any major component of the integrated resort development.
There is also a business entity disclosure form, which is to be completed by each business entity holding five per cent or more of the voting share of the applicant.
As it pertains to the Casino Gaming (Prescribed Games) regulations 2011, which falls under Section 72 of the Casino Gaming Act, the Casino Gaming Commission is empowered to make regulations for the licensing and operations of casinos with the Minister’s approval. The regulations indicate to prospective applicants, the games and the manner of their operation that will be deemed to constitute casino gaming.
Minister Shaw told the House that pre-approved developers are expected to apply to the Commission for licences and their operations will be regulated to ensure strict adherence to the international regulatory guidelines, and local financial regulation.
“The Ministry will, also, through the relevant departments and agencies, be examining the operations of the integrated resort developments, to ensure that the expected economic benefits to the country are realised,” he stated.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter