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Bethel wants banks and gaming houses to play by same rules

Given that the majority of financial retail businesses in the inner-city are gaming houses, President of Fidelity Bank and Trust Greg Bethel said it’s time for all financial businesses to play by the same rules.

According to government’s white paper on its economic rejuvenation initiative for the Over-the-Hill community, 59.1 percent of financial retail businesses in the area are numbers houses. The local commercial banking network has been fraught with domestic and international pressures that have resulted in downsizing.

As a result, electronic banking has gained popularity among consumers.

Gaming houses have provided informal digital banking-style services to consumers for many years now.

“What you want though is for everybody to play by the same rules, you want everybody to have the same standards, the same regulations, the same requirements and then you can compete fairly,” Bethel said in a recent interview with Guardian Business.

Bethel said government would only be moved to make adjustments to its policies based on the demands of the electorate.

“When it comes to gaming houses, the government will make policy and it’s up to Bahamians to speak out so they can influence that policy. So decisions about gaming houses are not made in a vacuum; gaming houses exist because Bahamians use them, and government is going to make policy based on what Bahamians want, because at the end of the day, they want the votes,” he said.

“So the Bahamian people must step up, speak up, if they want the gaming houses to be expanded, if they want them to be involved in digital banking; if they don’t then they need to say that as well.”

Paige McCartney

Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas.
Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016.
Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News
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