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Gaming tax study shelved

The government has shelved a study into a new tax structure for the gaming industry, according to Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar.

During the budget communication last May, the government announced a sliding scale tax on gaming house revenues and a five percent stamp tax on deposits.

The proposal saw widespread backlash from gaming operators who claimed that the new scheme would have a detrimental effect on their businesses.

D’Aguilar, who has responsibility for gaming, said the government decided to undertake a study to see whether those allegations were true.

However, legal action has since forced the government to abandon the original tax structure and after extended discussions, the parties agreed on a new scale.

“The study was commenced,” D’Aguilar recently told The Nassau Guardian.

“I believe it came to a conclusion, but in our minds now, it’s irrelevant.

“There’s no real reason to continue this conversation now that the matter has been settled. And in our mind, there’s no additional reason for public discourse on this matter.”

D’Aguilar, however, was unable to indicate who conducted the study or how much it cost.

As he presented the mid-year budget statement, Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest explained that the new scale will tax gaming houses with net taxable revenue from $0 to $24 million at a rate of 15 percent, and those with net taxable revenue over $24 million at a rate of 17.5 percent.

Additionally, a five percent tax on winnings up to $1,000 and a 7.5 percent tax on winnings over $1,000 will be implemented.

All back taxes at the previous 11 percent rate are expected to be collected before the end of this fiscal year.

This scale took effect on January 1, 2019.

Sloan Smith

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Sloan covers national news for The Nassau Guardian. Sloan officially joined the news team in September 2016 but interned at The Nassau Guardian while studying journalism at the University of The Bahamas.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications

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