The Gaming Authority of Guyana hosted the first in a series of Stakeholders Fora planned for 2018, on Thursday, June 14, 2018 in the Ogle Room at Herdmanston Lodge.
Under the theme “Gaming the Right Way” the forum is aimed at enlightening stakeholders about the Local Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) policies and procedures, and serves as part of the Gaming Authority’s plan to ensure local AML/CFT policies and procedures are fully implemented by gaming operatives, thus contributing to a well-regulated gaming industry in Guyana, according to a statement from the Office of the Minister of State.
In her keynote address, Minister Dawn Hastings, Junior Minister within the Ministry of the Presidency echoed the words of President Brigadier David Granger in his address to the Opening Ceremony of the 46th Plenary Meeting of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in November 2017.
He stated, “The Caribbean, today, is fighting a war against financial ‘privateers’ to preserve the integrity of its institutions and to counter money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. Guyana is fit to fight.”
She emphasized the need for dialogue between stakeholders and those in authority, charging the former to work in conjunction with the law and the Gaming Authority.
She expressed hope of transformation of the day’s proceedings into positive action with results.
Christine King, Director, Gaming Authority, in her address, highlighted the readiness of the Board and Directors to fulfill the mandate of the authority as a designated non-financial business or supervisory authority to implement and enforce the requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act.
She emphasized the commitment of the Gaming Authority to ensure that policies and procedures relative to AML/CFT are stringently observed and implemented by all gaming entities to bring about order and to ensure that the gaming industry in Guyana is well regulated.
Presenters shared critical information related to gaming operations based on principles of best practices and harm minimization.
Matthew Langevine, Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit presented on “AML CFT Obligations for reporting entities of betting shops, lottery and casinos.”
He discussed the red flags of the gambling sector and the overall role of the FIU including ensuring Reporting Entities compliance with AML CFT ACT, Sections 15, 16, 18 – 20, 2009, possible sanctions and examination process.
Marcia Harris, Manager of the Tax Advisory Unit, Guyana Revenue Authority shared information with stakeholders on “What you need to know about your taxes” including taxable activities and tax rates; VAT registration and obligations; the compliance roadmap; betting shop licence requirements, application procedures and fees; tax on bets, filing of returns and penalties for delinquency.
Presentations were also made by Lloyd Moore, Chief Executive Officer and Ms. Towana Whinfield, Compliance Officer, Gaming Authority on Responsible Gaming and Best Practices, Role of the Gaming Authority as the supervisory body for lotteries, casinos and betting shops, minimum requirements for premises, operators licences and betting shops.
The forum was attended by stakeholders within the Gaming Sector, including current and prospective casino operators, current and prospective betting shops operators, the Guyana Lottery Company, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA), Board Members and Staff of the Gaming Authority.
The Gaming Authority of Guyana was launched on December 1, 2008, in accordance with section 32(1) of the Gambling Prevention (Amendment) Act, 2008 and has been identified as the Supervisory Authority for betting shops, casinos and lotteries under the Anti-Money Laundering Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act of 2009 and its Amendment.
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