Gaming employees takes stance at protest

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Webshop workers fought their own battle on Bay Street alongside many others who stand against the government’s decision to hike up value-added tax (VAT).

Workers said the government’s plan to pinpoint shop operators in a tax hike of up to 50 per cent, reeks of economic apartheid.

Earlier this week, gaming house employees were called into a meeting with executives of the Bahamas Gaming Operators Association (BGOA), who warned them to “prepare for the worst”.

Gaming operators have warned that there will be job losses and store closures of up to 192 venues, if the government moves forward with its new taxation scale.

The government’s 2018/2019 Budget proposes gaming operators pay a minimum of 20 per cent to a maximum of 50 per cent, based on their earnings. The tax structure also includes a new five per cent stamp tax on deposits made to gaming houses by customers.

According to a recent survey by Public Doman – when Bahamians were asked if they agreed with the proposed tax hike to the gaming sector -36 per cent said they strongly disagreed, believing that the tax hike on the gaming industry is “economic racism”.

Fifteen per cent said they “somewhat agree” with the increase, while another 13 per cent were unsure, 13 per cent somewhat disagree and 23 per cent strongly agree.