NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Tourism and Aviation Minister with responsibility for gaming, Dionisio D’Aguilar, on Tuesday revealed that the Gaming Board is currently compiling a report on the prospects of introducing a national lottery.
D’Aguilar told reporters outside of Cabinet that government is preparing to look into implementing the idea, but would first have to consider the information presented in Gaming Board’s report.
“Certainly, given the fact that many Bahamians are always questioning politicians on lottery versus the current gaming scenario, I figured it behooves us to at least do an analysis and present something to government.”
D’Aguilar’s comments come on the heels of the ongoing dialogue between gaming house attornies and the government over the proposed implementation of a 5 per cent tax on gaming patrons making deposits onto their accounts.
The proposed tax was supposed to have been rolled out during summer 2018, but after much pushback from gaming operators, the government was forced to place its new gaming tax regime on hold.
Government and gaming house operators have been locked in negotiations since the proposed new tax regime; wrangling opinions over the patrons’ tax and a sliding tax scheme which would see gaming operators paying up to $100, 000 in taxes on their earnings.
While D’Aguilar has not mentioned the pros or cons of introducing a national lottery, other countries around the world which have introduced national lotteries have managed to use the revenue to support significant national projects and charity.
He gave media no timeline as to when the Gaming Board is expected to complete its study on the possible introduction of a national lottery.