Sunday, May 31, 2020
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Bills pave way for govt to collect gaming taxes

The government yesterday tabled several gaming bills, paving the way for it to collect taxes from gaming house operators and web shop patrons.

The Gaming (Amendment) Bill, 2019 provides for a winnings tax and clarifies the legislation, but most notably “seeks to impose a tax on winnings on numbers games and to impose the tax on the domestic player”.

The Gaming House Operator (Amendment) Regulations, 2019 outlines the new tax structure the government and gaming house operators agreed to following a court battle and months of negotiations.

The government announced in February that it reached an agreement with gaming house operators which would result in it collecting $35 million annually from a new sliding scale tax on net taxable revenue, and $15 million from a tax on winnings as a result of lottery bets.

The government stands to collect 15 percent on up to $24 million earned in revenue from gaming house operators; and an additional 17.5 percent on revenue over $24 million, with a retroactive start date of January 1, 2019.

It was also agreed that winnings from lottery bets would be taxed as of April 1, with a five percent tax to be paid by patrons on winnings up to $1,000 and 7.5 percent to be paid on any winnings above that amount.

The Gaming House Operator (Amendment) Regulations, 2019 stipulates that gaming houses deduct the winnings tax due from the domestic player concurrent with the crediting of the winnings payment to the domestic player’s account, or the over-the-counter payments of the winnings to the domestic player; and remit to the Gaming Board the winnings tax collected.

The regulations also outline the tax period as beginning on January 1 and ending December 31 of each year and mandates gaming house licensees submit monthly tax returns reflecting at minimum total taxable revenue, total winnings paid to domestic players and total winnings taxes of all applicable operations.

The Stamp (Gaming Patron) Rules, 2018 was revoked and replaced with the Stamp Amendment Act, 2019 which seeks to remove the payment of stamp tax on deposit funds into an account in any gaming house or for the payment of any gaming activity not conducted through an account.

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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