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Senate approve casino gaming regulations

Saturday, November 10, 2012    

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THE Senate yesterday passed two regulations covering the operation of casinos, paving the way for the opening up of casino gaming houses in Jamaica.

The Casino Gaming ((Prescribed Games) regulations 2012 and the Casino Gaming (Application for Declaration of Approved Integrated Resort Development) Regulations were passed unanimously, although some senators were in disagreement with aspects of the Act.

Government member, Senator K D Knight, lashed out against casino gaming, which he called "casino gambling", but said that he would vote for it, because "the die is already cast", meaning that the Act was already law.

Knight said that the Urban Development Corporation, which he chairs, is now in a position to benefit from the increased value of its properties with casino gaming.

Another Government member, Senator Lambert Brown, raised a number of concerns, including the power given the minister to wave provisions of the Act and the lack of protection for workers in the industry, but he, too, voted in favour of the regulations.

Opposition member Senator Alexander Williams criticised the fact that regulations, which marked the first step in the process of obtaining a gaming licence, was brought to Parliament two years after the Act was passed.

Opposition members Kamina Johnson Smith and Dr Christopher Tufton also raised issues with the provisions of the regulations and the Government's approach to the issue.

However, when the time came for voting, all the members voted in favour of the regulations.

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