An Illegal cash pot operator has been fined $375,000 and given 7 days to pay the fine or be imprisoned.
“This is an important development in the efforts of the Betting Gaming and Lotteries
Commission to stamp out and protect Jamaicans from illegal gambling operations,” said Noel Bacquie, Director of Enforcement at the Betting Gaming & Lotteries Commission, Jamaica’s gaming regulator.
A report to Crime Stop (311) resulted in BGLC’s Enforcement Team undertaking investigations to monitor the activities in the White Lane area of Waterhouse in Kingston. Subsequently, the gaming regulator’s team conducted a joint operation with the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Unit (CTOC) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) which led to an arrest and charge. The matter went before the court and resulted in the $375,000 fine.
“This is the largest fine applied in recent years. We are pleased that the courts recognize the seriousness of charges related to illegal gambling and are applying fines that closely align with our legislation. This is an important deterrent in our fight against illegal gambling,” Bacquie said. The Betting Gaming and Lotteries Act (BGLA) allows for fines not exceeding $500,000 or imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding twelve months.
A report to Crime Stop led the BGLC’s Enforcement Team to monitor the activities in the White Lane area. A joint operation was carried out with CTOC and an arrest made leading to the matter going before the court.
In 2016 BGLC signed an MOU with Crime Stop to enable citizens to make anonymous reports of illegal gambling by calling 311. This has been steadily bearing fruit with a growing number of reports being received. The BGLC’s Enforcement Team conducts investigations in response to these reports, and works with JCF to execute operations to identify and arrest those engaged in the unlicensed and illegal gambling enterprises.
The Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission is an independent statutory body established under the provisions of the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1965. The BGLC’s mandate includes ensuring that Jamaica’s gaming industry is operated in a structured and disciplined manner, that the industry is crime free and the public is protected from being exploited by gambling. The Commission licenses and regulates the local gaming industry by granting permits and licences to persons or entities considered fit to conduct betting, gaming and lottery activities.