Senators in Trinidad and Tobago have approved the Gambling (Gaming and Betting) Control Bill, 2021, which aims to generate TT$2 billion in tax revenue from casino-style gambling.
By regulating and taxing the industry, it will create tax revenues from the cost of gaming licenses, table game taxes, and customs duty on imported gambling tables/devices, in addition to corporation tax.
Senator Allyson West, Minister of Public Administration, stated that many gaming and betting operators have formed private members clubs. This means they have not yet paid corporation tax.
The bill also includes a $1 million criminal penalty and a $250,000 administrative fine for unapproved operators. Also, Senator West believes the gaming industry in Trinidad and Tobago is worth $16 billion per year. Its taxes never exceed $82 million.
She estimates that gambling facilities will pay $2 billion in taxes under the new laws, made up of $1.2 billion in corporation tax and $500 million in game taxes.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert stated that the Cabinet or the minister would appoint a Gambling (Gaming and Betting) Control Commission. He explained that many of the gambling establishments in Trinidad and Tobago were currently run by people from Eastern Europe and the Far East and also that there was a high level of irregularity reported.