The Jamaican government is hoping to move towards online gambling regulation within the next 12 months. Speaking at the opening of the 2014 Gaming Industry Summit in Kingston, Horace Dalley, a representative of the country's Ministry of Finance and Planning, said that de-facto, internet gambling is already happening in Jamaica. Therefore, said Dalley: "It is time that we make that progression to this methodology of gaming, as Jamaicans are already well-equipped with the devices to facilitate this.”
Big Increases in Land-based Gambling Revenues
Dalley spoke of the recent boost in land-based gambling revenues in Jamaica which has not gone unnoticed by the authorities. Gambling is one of Jamaica's economy mainstays, with reports showing that the industry has increased profoundly in the last two years from $3.8 billion in taxes and revenue in 2012/3 to $4.5 billion in 2013/4.
According to Dalley, the Jamaican government is meaning to crack down on illegal and unlicensed online gambling in the country by regulation and bringing order to internet gaming. “The Government cannot sit idly by and allow the multibillion-dollar leakage through the illegal sales of lottery tickets, sports bets, and Internet gaming to continue,” said Dalley, adding that the significant revenues from a regulated market could contribute to a stronger economy and the creation of more jobs.
The 2014 Gaming Industry Summit
The 2014 Gaming Industry Summit, which was the first of its kind, was hosted by the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission of Jamaica and among other things it discussed the changes in the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act. The Jamaican government is planning the introduction of sports betting via phone and text in time for this month's World Cup in Brazil.