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Patron tax delayed again

A patron gaming tax has been delayed for the fourth time, Bahamas Gaming Operators Association’s (BGOA) CEO Gershon Major said yesterday.

“Because a number of system modifications, certifications and adjustments have to be made by an international laboratory, including approval by the Gaming Board for The Bahamas, that component of the taxes has not yet been implemented,” Major said yesterday.

“I think the impact of Dorian has reprioritized a number of priorities for the government of The Bahamas.

“I can’t speak for the government, but certainly I know from other modifications from our operator members that the process is continuing to take place.”

Asked for a timeline, Major said that in early 2020, the public may see modifications to the systems once the Gaming Board approves.

Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar was unavailable for comment on the matter up to press time.

Until then, Major said that gaming operators are still preparing for the change.

“We have been preparing while we were in negotiations with the government of The Bahamas,” Major said.

“So, this is not unknown to the operators, including their teams. So, we’re very pleased with the work we have been doing in anticipation of this.”

The government initially expected to implement the tax on July 1, 2018, coupled with a list of other tax increases for gaming operators.

However, that date was pushed back to August 13, 2018; September 1, 2018 and April 1 of this year.

In June 2018, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest announced in the House of Assembly that gaming house activities will be taxed “through the introduction of a sliding scale of rates applied to taxable revenue”.

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