Casino owners: "We pay our taxes; Minister's information wrong"

Monday, April 11, 2016 - 20:00

Casino owners are telling the Minister of Finance that he has got it wrong.

A statement from the Association of Members Clubs says the Minister's claim that only three casinos pay taxes, came from erroneous information.

The following is the statement:

"The Association of Members Clubs listened attentively to the Minister of Finance’s contribution during the Mid-Term Review.

It is unambiguous that the Honourable Minister is in firm possession of erroneous information which he is being allowed to repeat as fact.

This would be comical were it not that this misinformation is being used to formulate government policy which can adversely affect the gaming industry that provides employment and business opportunities for many.

The Association views it as irresponsible for the Minister not to verify these important facts before proceeding to make government policy on same.

In his contribution Minister Imbert indicated that only three (3) casinos pay taxes. This is incorrect.

Since his statement, members of the association have been coming forward expressing their shock and disappointment given they are lawfully paying their respective taxes. Members are weary that the public and in particular patrons of our respective establishments may erroneously be led by the Minister to develop the perception that the various clubs are not paying their taxes.

We are committed and prepared to present the facts of the gaming industry to the Honourable Minister.

It was also stated in the Parliament by the Minister indicated that there were over 260 casinos operating with the Members Club licences, again this is simply not true. Not all Members Clubs are Casinos so while all have licences not all involved in gaming.

It is clear that the technocrats in the Ministry are attempting to mislead the Minister with incorrect information that will be dangerous to our industry. For that reason we once again repeat our request to have a meeting with the Honourable Minister to fully ventilate all issues.

In his closing statements Minister Imbert indicated that he will bringing to the Parliament the very same Gaming Bill which the previous administration brought and would not be changing anything in it.

In fact Minister Imbert stated he was looking forward to the Opposition’s support since their position and the Government’s position was one and same.

We are committed to seek consultation with the Honourable Minister, on the future for this Industry."