Changes to Gaming Act could make way for nat’l lottery
Amendments to the Gaming Act will expand the definition of what is considered a “numbers game” and could make way for a national lottery, Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said yesterday.
“The proposed amendment expands the definition of numbers game to any single combination or series of numbers, symbols or letters as may be approved by the board, may be wagered upon by a player at odds which are fixed at the time of conclusion of the wager,” D’Aguilar said as he opened debate on the amendment bill.
“Governments may use this amendment of the definition in the numbers game as a first step in establishing a national lottery involving four ball or five ball or six ball.
“However, the government has not advanced, at this time, its thinking on the establishment of a national lottery and is still considering whether this would be something that it would wish to operate in house – given the government’s poor track record of running businesses, something I would strongly recommend against.”
He added, “I would like to emphasize, however, that the Gaming Board is still considering all of its options and has not yet made any recommendation to the government on the best way forward.”
The Gaming (Amendment) Bill 2019 passed in the House of Assembly yesterday.
The matter of a national lottery has been an ongoing debate in the country.
In 2013, the majority of people who voted in the gambling referendum voted against the regularization and taxation of web shops and the establishment of a national lottery.
While the Christie administration later moved to regulate and tax web shops, it did not set up a national lottery.