Antigua opposition wants stricter gambling bill

Despite supporting the bill in the Senate, some leaders wanted a stricter regulation.

Antigua.- The Caribbean country had proposed taxes and rules for online gambling operators that are included in the Gambling Act of 2016 and expected to be passed in the first quarter of 2017. Senate Minority Leader Senator Harold Lovell said that, even though he gave his support, he believes that the Act should present a stricter regulation towards the gaming industry.

During the debate in the Upper House, Lovell said that there’s a section that details some of the basic things that the new Gaming Authority would be in charge, and one of them establishes minimum regulatory intervention. “I’m not sure why they placed that as the first one and why they framed it in that way. I have a problem, with this ‘minimum regulatory intervention’ by government. You’re supposed to have strict regulatory oversight by government not minimum oversight. I think that’s a recipe for people to run away and to say to the government ‘stay out’,” he said.

Lovell believes that the gaming industry is the cause of a soft regulation, “They do not want any interference by the government in what they doing,” he added, and he asked to set a specific measure in the Act that protects people who are at risk of developing a gambling addiction. “We know that many people have been destroyed by gambling. We’ve seen gambling destroy families, households, businesses,” he said.