Monday 10 August, 2020

Gaming lounges reopen Wednesday - Clarke

Gaming lounges are set to reopen on Wednesday, July 8 after  being closed since March as part of the Government’s efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the island.

The announcement was made by the Minister of Finance and Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke on Tuesday as he addressed the House of Representatives. He was giving an update on the government’s COVID Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) programme.

“The decision comes following the development and publication of COVID-19 reopening and operating protocols by the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission in consultation with the gaming lounge operators,” Clarke said.

“The protocols have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health and Wellness and received no objection from the public health authorities,” the minister added.

He noted that gaming lounges represent the last segment of Jamaica's gambling industry to reopen.

“They make a significant contribution to economic activity and employment in Jamaica,” said Clarke.

For the financial year ending March 2020, gaming lounges generated $490 million of direct revenue for the government, outside of PAYE deductions and GCT contributions.

The finance minister noted that the industry employs hundreds of Jamaicans and has multiple direct and indirect linkages with other sectors of the economy.

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