The leader of the Barbados’ main opposition party, Bishop Joseph Atherley, contends that the government is planing to legalise casinos in the island nation.
His comments came a day after the government announced it is planning to introduce online and table gaming in the 2019 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals in the House of Assembly, the lower house of Barbados’ bicameral Parliament.
While Atherley conceded that while casino gambling had not been specifically mentioned in the 2019 Budget, he cautioned that such a legislative change could not be “sneaked” through by the government.
“If it is intended to be casino gambling, and I am not here suggesting anything one way or the other as to the advisability of that, I’m simply saying it seems so to me, and if we are going to do it let’s say so very clearly because whatever we call it and however skilfully we introduce it then it still becomes part of our reality,” he stated.
Delivering the 2019 Budgetary Proposals, Barbados’ prime minister Mia Amor Mottley said there would be a 20 percent withholding tax on gambling winnings and a 17.5 percent gambling tax on the net drop of all gaming establishments.
She explained that the government had taken the decision following requests from investors within the tourism sector to expand gambling in the country.