JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Organised Crime Division (OCID) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has strengthened its collaboration with the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) in tackling money laundering activities within the industry.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between both parties on October 7, during a ceremony held at the Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston.
  • The agreement, which follows a year of negotiations, will see the OCID intensifying operations to nab illegal gamers, including carrying out more covert police work.

The Organised Crime Division (OCID) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has strengthened its collaboration with the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) in tackling money laundering activities within the industry.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between both parties on October 7, during a ceremony held at the Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston.

The agreement, which follows a year of negotiations, will see the OCID intensifying operations to nab illegal gamers, including carrying out more covert police work.

Head of OCID, Senior Superintendent of Police, Clifford Chambers, said the partnership between the entities will serve to plug revenue leakage within the industry, due to illegal gaming, which is estimated at $10 billion annually.

Noting the connection between money laundering and criminal activities, SSP Chambers said it has to be ensured that “the persons who are wreaking havoc on our society are stifled (and) resources that finance their activities are cut off”.

“When you look at the illegal activities, through the billions of dollars that are being lost by the industry, it is going somewhere and God forbid it is going into the purchasing of arms and ammunition,” he lamented.

He said the MoU is timely and expressed the OCID’s commitment to “do what is required to stem the illegal activity that surrounds the betting, gaming and lotteries industry”.

“We will be giving it our fullest support, our fullest investigative covert intelligence and operational support,” he pledged.

Chairman of the BGLC, Gary Peart, in welcoming the partnership, noted that it will serve to assist the Commission with better monitoring and regulation of the sector, and further drive enforcement of the provisions of the amended Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act.

The amendments seek to strengthen and improve the regulatory oversight of the BGLC, so as to develop and expand the industry in an orderly manner.

Mr. Peart said the changes have made it easier for persons to come into the legal framework, by reducing the incentive to continue and maintain illegal gaming.

He said the BGLC “is increasing our resources as it pertains now to dealing with enforcement of legal gaming to the detriment of illegal gaming.”