Trinidad & Tobago forms first Gambling Control Commission
The dual island Caribbean nation has appointed members of the first Gambling (Gaming and Betting) Control Commission to oversee gambling regulation.
Trinidad & Tobago – Board of the Gambling (Gaming and Betting) Control Commission
On 14th March, 2022, Trinidad & Tobago appointed members of its first Board of the Gambling (Gaming and Betting) Control Commission. The Honourable Colm Imbert, Minister of Finance, announce the appointment of 9 members including Chairman, Mr. Stephen Tang Nian and Deputy Chairman, Mr. Stevan Thomas.
The Gaming and Betting commission came about due to the directive of The Gambling (Gaming and Betting) Control Bill, 2021 which was passed 22 June 2021 in the Senate at the Red House, Port of Spain.
As per the countries law, Casinos are illegal. However, there is a legal loophole where casinos can operate if they are run as “private member clubs”. This loophole was exploited by many clubs. The largest club in Port of Spain, Royal Princess Members Club has more than 180 slot machines and more than 10 table games.
The government of Trinidad and Tobago have reiterated the need for them to take this step in order to “address the social concerns arising out of the proliferation of private member clubs providing casino-style games to the club members.”
The Gambling Control Bill, 2021 defines the gambit of the Commission to be appointed as “for the purpose of regulating the gaming and betting sectors which are, both on a global and national level, vulnerable to infiltration by money launderers and terrorist financing.”
The new Commission, on the directive of the Bill, is entrusted to build licensing framework in the country with a view to “minimising the potential for money laundering and terrorist financing due to the stringent criteria that will have to be met in order to obtain a licence to work in thegaming and betting sectors.”