BVI News

Stiff penalties for persons caught in breach of govt’s proposed gambling laws

By Kamal Haynes, BVI News Staff

Once the government’s proposed gambling legislation becomes law, persons who fail to abide by the local gaming regulations can be fined up to $20,000 and spend up to five years in prison for a single gambling offence.

This is according to Part VIII of the Gambling (Gaming and Betting) Control Act, 2020, which outlines the offences and penalties of the Act.

Section 70 of the Act states that persons who conduct gambling or facilitate the act of gambling without a valid appropriate license under the Act commits an offence and is liable to face either of the aforementioned penalties.

Cheaters will face stiff penalties

The Act also outlines that cheaters of any kind, whether a licensee or associate of an employee or patron, will not be tolerated in the territory. 

Section 72 of the Act says, “a person shall not instruct another person in cheating or in the use of any equipment for that purpose, with the knowledge or intent that the information or use so conveyed may be employed contrary to the provisions of this Act.”

It continued: “A person who contravenes any provision of this section commits an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000, or a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years.”

Betting in streets and public places prohibited

Provisions are also in place for persons caught gambling in a street or public place. This is an offence. Such persons can be fined up to $5,000 or face up to six months in prison or both, once convicted.

Under the Act, a police officer will also have the authority to seize and detain any item found on persons caught gambling in a street or public place and can take such persons into custody without a warrant.

Minors nor permitted to gambling

The Act also states that minors (persons under 18 years) are prohibited from participating in any form of gambling — including for employment purposes — and persons who encourage such activities by minors will face criminal charges.

“A person who knowingly invites, permits or causes a minor to enter licensed premises, other than a racetrack, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000, or to a term of imprisonment of two years, or to both such fine and term of imprisonment,” Section 78 states.

Copies of rules of games should be on display in establishments

Meanwhile, Part IV of the Act speaks specifically to the regulations regarding gaming.

It states that establishments should have on display the copies of rules of all games played within the entity, to allow patrons to properly decide whether they want to engage in the gaming system.

It also says that persons should not participate in gaming if not physically present on the premises where the gaming is taking place.

Private gaming legal

The Act, however, states that private gaming is exempted from all the regulations of the Act, once it takes place in a private dwelling and members of the public have no access to the place where the gaming is in progress.

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  1. oh boy says:

    What about lottery tickets and those that sell them?

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
    • @Oh boy says:

      The lottery ticket sellers should be regulated and licensed by the State. The lottery sellers should be made to pay a tax fee to the State. In the States, that is how it is done. When I was in New York on a visit, I bought a 10 dollar scratch off and I won $1,000 dollars, when I went to cash in the ticket, a $100.00 was held back for taxes. Hey, I still had $900.00 in my pocket.

      • Lie you lie says:

        That is a lie. The New York lottery do not take 10 percent of your winnings. You should have checked before making such a statement. Why don’t you folks stop commenting nonsense and find something better to do. The act should also stipulate that those caught making false statements can also be fined. Stupid.

    • church says:

      What about the churches offering a weekly bet that when you die there is a place called heaven.

  2. HAHA says:

    Biggest joke of the week!

  3. What!!!!! says:

    We full of laws and regulations which are not enforced and nobody pays any attention to

    Like 15
    • Jajajajaja says:

      But the island right now is the lottery and the government says nothing here all the bars and all the stores, barber shop sell lottery. and the lottery do not pay taxes here in BVI

  4. Triple Edge Blade and Doulble Barrel Shot Gun. says:

    Enforcement of a law is hopeful, averting and or controlling the stiffling organized and white collar crime is quite another unwinable and daunting task. Good luck there.

    On the other thought, the initiative can generate tremendous revenue and hopefully jobs for the territory, but the accompanying maladies and pathogens, if not carefully considered and averted may be counteproductive to the economic, social and cultural being of the territory.

    As such, this initiative, though potentially lucrative for the territory, must be thoroughly thought out to avoid the negative accompanying effects and consequences.

    Meanwhile, though is not and has created a single job, the religious entity of this nation will be its greatest opposer.

    Create a crime, corruption and embezzelmet free gambling scheme and it might work and produce. However, religion and human nature will be its greatest challenges.

  5. Jajajajaja says:

    But the island right now is the lottery and the government says nothing here all the bars and all the stores, barber shop sell lottery. and the lottery do not pay taxes here in BVI

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  6. Lol ha says:

    But the island right now is the lottery and the government says nothing here all the bars and all the stores, barber shop sell lottery. and the lottery do not pay taxes here in BVI

  7. Caribbean Girl says:

    The PR lottery tickets sold in the BVI are to not to sold outside Puerto Rico. It is stated on the back. Reason why many winners have to pay someone to go collect the winnings, if no US Visa. Everyone knows this, who brings them in, who wins and how much. Nothing done about it.

  8. Mick Mars says:

    So now ayo legalize gambling, I can’t shoot dice with my boys with no hassle or stress, cause ayo ain’t getting a tax out of it? Stop there.

    I am a law abiding citizen for the most part but until ayo crack down on the Spannie woman them selling ticket and numbers with impunity, don’t try bring none of that mess when you see me and my friends out enjoying we gambling on we own accord.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  9. Ausar says:

    All you’ve done Premier, is to move this activity indoors!

    And if I choose to use social media and all its apps to conduct my bets, how can you stop that?

    You would take away such an activity, knowing fully well, that the minimum wage is six bucks an hour and governmental wages are low!

    Expect clandestine operations, in this area of our peoples activities, Premier!

  10. so what says:

    No one enforces the laws around here, least of all for belongers, so make the fines as stiff as you want.

  11. Dman says:

    Seems as though the Government is saying that it’s better to carry a gun than a deck of cards.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1

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