Gaming house operators yesterday refuted comments made earlier this month by Director of Labour John Pinder that numbers houses “hate to pay their staff a decent salary and treat them fairly”.
The Bahamas Gaming Operators Association (BGOA) took umbrage at what it called a singling out of the domestic gaming industry.
“The facts are that the domestic gaming industry directly employs almost 3,000 Bahamians and supports indirectly or induced, a further 1,000 jobs. The industry employs more Bahamians across the islands of The Bahamas than any of our counterparts in the retail sector, and our employees enjoy higher wages and benefits for similar skill sets,” the BGOA pointed out in a statement released Wednesday.
“Additionally, the industry employs Bahamians in a range of disciplines, from entry-level to human resource personnel, compliance/risk officers, financial controllers/CFOs, attorneys, computer programmers, software developers, web and graphic designers, graphic artists, marketing experts and other similar professionals.”
Responding to criticism about its public acts of charity and the extravagant annual parties hosted by some number houses at which millions of dollars in prizes are given away to attendees, the BGOA said it’s “baffling that givebacks would be considered a point of criticism”.
“We are very proud of our historical and current corporate and social responsibility contributions. Since the regulation of the sector in 2014, we have given back more than $30 million in the areas of education, sports, culture, wellness and entrepreneurship. Such initiatives will continue to be generous in assisting those areas of charitable, social and community giving as a priority,” the statement noted.
The BGOA said it is open to maintaining its cordial relationship with the Ministry of Labour and is prepared to address and redress any supported or substantiated deficiencies.