Shaw high­lights im­por­tance of gam­ing in­dus­try

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

KINGSTON (JIS): FI­NANCE AND the Pub­lic Ser­vice Min­is­ter Aud­ley Shaw has un­der­scored the gam­ing in­dus­try’s po­ten­tial and im­por­tance in con­tribut­ing sig­nif­i­cantly to the Gov­ern­ment’s growth agenda.

He said the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s rev­enue in­take cur­rently ben­e­fits from bil­lions of dol­lars from the in­dus­try through taxes and fees re­mit­ted to cen­tral and lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

Shaw was speak­ing at the Bet­ting, Gam­ing and Lot­ter­ies Com­mis­sion (BGLC) an­nual Gam­ing In­dus­try Sum­mit held re­cently at the Ja­maica Con­fer­ence Cen­tre in down­town Kingston. Shaw said the scep­tics should dis­pel the be­lief that the in­dus­try pro­motes neg­a­tive and an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour.

“We must fo­cus on the re­wards that can be achieved and the sup­port that will be given to the growth of the Ja­maican econ­omy ... while not ig­nor­ing our re­spon­si­bil­ity to con­trol any neg­a­tive cir­cum­stances that may arise,” he added. The re­wards, Shaw in­di­cated, in­clude di­ver­si­fy­ing the in­dus­try as part of ef­forts to fur­ther boost tourism, cit­ing casino gam­ing as an ex­am­ple of one area that could at­tract for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments. Shaw said the Gov­ern­ment’s recog­ni­tion of the gam­ing in­dus­try’s po­ten­tial and im­por­tance ne­ces­si­tated that its prod­ucts be pack­aged, ad­ver­tised and dis­trib­uted, sim­i­lar to what ob­tains with Ja­maica’s cul­ture, mu­sic and sports.

The min­is­ter said it is im­per­a­tive that the in­dus­try be pro­moted in a more “pro­duc­tive and pos­i­tive light” in or­der to re­move ex­ist­ing stig­mas, fa­cil­i­tate re­spon­si­ble be­hav­iour, and “pro­tect our chil­dren”.

“I wish to see a cul­ture change among stake­hold­ers as gam­ing needs to be viewed as a sport,” Shaw said.


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