The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) is calling for all owners and operators of gaming machines to renew their licences by March 31.

Speaking at a JIS Think Tank on January 30, Director of Licensing at the BGLC, Maurice Thompson, said that sanctions for non-compliance will kick in on April 1 attracting a penalty of up to 60 per cent of the fees.

Director of Licensing at the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC), Maurice Thompson, speaking at a JIS Think Tank on January 30

He said that the Commission will be accepting documents for renewal of licenses along with the required fees at tax offices across the island between February 11 and March 19.

The BGLC will be at the tax office in Spanish Town on February 25 and 26; Montego Bay on February 11and 12 and March 4 and 5; Mandeville, February 18 and 19; Port Antonio, February 25 and 26; May Pen, March 4 and 5; Portmore, March 11 and 12; St. Ann’s Bay, March 11 and 12; and Savanna-la-Mar on February 11 and 12 and March 18 and 19.

For the renewal process, licensees are required to pay levies to Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) for each machine and each premises, as well as corresponding fees to the BGLC. The TAJ receipt must be presented at the time of payment of the BGLC fees.

Licensees can pay the Commission fee using their debit or credit card, and so they no longer need to do so through the bank.

Chief Executive Officer at the BGLC, Vitus Evans, said that the Commission is finalising arrangements for Paymaster and Bill Express to accept payments.

Mr. Evans is imploring persons to make their payments on time. “If you are not licensed then you are an illegal operator, and we will have to take action, and your machines can be seized,” he warned.

Operators of locally made machines will pay $5,000 to the TAJ and $5,000 for licensing and disc fees per gaming machine to the BGLC. Owners of premises housing machines are required to pay $2,500 per premises to the TAJ and $1,000 for each premises to the BGLC.

The BGLC is also reminding all new premises owners or machine operators that they are required to pay a due diligence fee of $5,000.

The BGLC is the Government body that licenses, regulates and monitors the local gaming industry, facilitates its growth and development and protects the public from unfair, unscrupulous and illegal activities.

The Commission is a major revenue source for the Government, earning $6.5 billion in 2018.