No Decision Yet On Use Of U.S. Lotteries By Web Shop
Web shops currently have options for online casino gaming — providing Internet versions of games of chance played in casinos — as well as wagers based off winning lottery numbers in the United States.
Rollins said lottery operators in the United States have not expressed any concern over the practice, but added that it would be something the Gaming Board would have to discuss if the December 3 gambling referendum passes.
“As I understand it today there has been no objection by those who operate lotteries in the United States who said they disapprove of what I understand to be taking place,” he said in an interview with The Nassau Guardian at a watch party for the U.S. presidential election at Liberty Overlook Tuesday night.
“After this were to pass, it would be the responsible thing to do for the regulator, along with other government officials, to speak with outside entities and determine whether they have any difficulty or problem with us using information,” he added.
Prime Minister Perry Christie announced last week the Gaming Board would serve as regulator of the web shop sector if the referendum question passes.
The Nassau Guardian spoke with a representative of the Florida State Lottery yesterday who said she did not know of the practice by local web shops.
She said the procedure would only be considered copyright infringement if web shops were using logos or advertisements that are owned by Florida’s lottery.
The representative added that the lottery had no jurisdiction over games outside of the United States.
Rollins also encouraged the prime minister to provide more information before the referendum — for instance how a regulated numbers industry would operate — ahead of the December vote.
“I would encourage him to ensure that we do as much as we can,” he said. “Not taking a side or trying to offer advocacy for any side, but it is imperative that we as leaders try to provide as much information as we can to allay the fears of the public.”
But Rollins repeatedly stressed he would not speak out of turn on the important gambling issue and supports and respects Christie’s handling of the matter.
Although Christie has said the web shops would face license fees and stringent laws if they are regulated he has not provided details on how the sector would operate. He has said the details would come in legislation depending on how people vote on the issue.
Rollins also dismissed speculation from the opposition Free National Movement (FNM) that the Christie administration wants to regulate web shops to appease a special interest group.
Rollins said if that were the case, the prime minister could change the law in the House of Assembly without first taking the vote to the public where the outcome is uncertain.
By Taneka Thompson
Guardian Senior Reporter
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