PM Dr. Timothy Harris

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has moved to strengthen the Federation’s gaming industry and protect the nation’s international reputation as a responsible member of the global community, with the passing of the Gaming (Control) Bill, 2021 on Thursday.

The legislation provides for the effective and comprehensive regulation of the Gaming Industry and for other incidental matters. It calls for the establishment of a Gaming Commission which will replace the existing Gaming Board.

“Beyond compliance with our international obligations, the Bill seeks to regularize the gaming sector to capture and enhance operating principles for persons involved in the sector and to streamline existing provisions. The Bill, for example, seeks to provide greater certainty as it relates to the scope of the clientele,” said Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr Timothy Harris in moving the second reading of the Bill in the National Assembly.

“In that regard, the Bill aims to clarify those residents who can legally participate in gaming activities,” he added, noting that the revamping of the legislation must be balanced against the promotion of responsible gaming.

According to the Prime Minister, the moving of Gaming (Control) Bill, 2021 formed part of his Team Unity administration’s mandate of promoting good governance.

“The present legislative framework for the gaming sector, Mr Speaker, provides for the establishment and operation of a Gaming Board and a Racing Commission. However, for several years both bodies have met with limited success in fulfilling their mandate of providing adequate regulation, licencing and supervision of the gaming sector.

“As a result Mr Speaker, the sector needs reform to enable St. Kitts and Nevis to ensure compliance with international standards set by the FATF [Financial Action Task Force] and to safeguard the Federation from any possible financial crime which may emanate from the gaming sector,” he said.

The Gaming (Control) Bill, 2021 had its first reading on March 18, 2021.