Gaming operators claim three operators compliant in paying gaming taxes
The Bahamas Gaming Operators Association (BGOA) said yesterday that Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest’s assertion that only one gaming house has been fully compliant in paying taxes owed to the government is “demonstratively false”.
“BGOA wishes to unequivocally refute those statements as wholly inaccurate,” the BGOA said in a statement.
“Currently, there are three operators that have paid all of their outstanding taxes, which represents 70 percent of the operator taxes due to the government.
“Therefore, the government has collected the majority of the outstanding operator taxes due for the 2018/2019 fiscal year.
“We are uncertain as to why the minister of finance would make such a public statement that he knows or ought to know is demonstratively false.
“As for patron tax on lotto winnings, initially a tax on patron deposits, gaming operators could not lawfully begin collecting these taxes on April 1, 2019, as the government intended.
“To implement such a tax, operators’ systems must be modified, internationally tested, certified and approved by the regulator, the gaming board for The Bahamas, as fit for purpose.
“Only once that process is completed can the collection of patron taxes on lotto winnings commence.”
The government has collected roughly $18.2 million of its $50 million target for gaming tax revenue in the 2018/2019 fiscal year.
Turnquest indicated last month that it is unlikely that the government will make up the full difference before the end of the budget year, but noted that the government intends to collect all outstanding payments.
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