JAMAICA | Finance Ministry accepting applications for casino gaming development orders

JAMAICA | Finance Ministry accepting applications for casino gaming development orders

KINGSTON, Jamaica: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - The Ministry of Finance  is to begin accepting applications for casino gaming resort development orders, and has opened Requests for Applications (“RFA”)  effective  October 6, 2021.

Under the Casino Gaming Act (“CGA”), the Minister responsible for Finance may make an order declaring an Integrated Resort Development to be an Approved Integrated Resort Development (“IRD”).  This will enable the developer to then make an application to the Casino Gaming Commission for a licence to be issued, under the Act, to operate a casino within that resort development.   

Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke has appointed a 10-member Enterprise team, chaired by Dr. Dana Dixon, who will receive and evaluate applications from interested investors for Integrated Resort Developments.  

The Ministerhas advised that “To ensure transparency and the best returns for Jamaica, the application process and selection of Approved Integrated Resort Developments will be managed by an Enterprise Team which includes persons with a diversity of skills and experience, including knowledge of our Anti- Money Laundering & Countering Terrorism framework and other notable competencies.”

Other members of the enterprise team are: Ms Roxanne Miller, Mr Hugh Morris, Ms Maureen Simms, Ms Jhanelle-Rae Bowie, Mrs Shullette Cox, Mrs Denise Arana, Ms Madge Ramsay, Mrs Tiva Russell-Forbes and Mrs Audrey Robinson.  

The CGA was amended earlier this year to change the requirements for the designation for IRD. Changes to the requirements to be designated an IRD include:

  • A reduction in the overall number of hotel rooms to be constructed from 2000 to 1000 rooms;
  • The requirement that 500 of the constructed rooms are to be designed and implemented as luxury rooms;
  • The requirement for a minimum capital investment of USD$500 million; 
  • All the elements of the approved IRD are to be constructed and operational within three (3) years of the commencement of the operation of any casino activity on the development; and that failure to comply will result in a penalty.

Minister Clarke said “the amendments which the Government has made to the requirements to be fulfilled by a prospective developer of an approved integrated resort development are meant to enhance the regime and to strengthen its appeal to potential investors and by so doing to attract and increase foreign direct investment to Jamaica”.

Dr. Clarke told the Parliament on Tuesday, that the changes to the law are meant to appeal to investors and bring more foreign direct investment to Jamaica.  "As at now, Madam Speaker, there is no operating casino resort in Jamaica, despite the fact that we've have had this legislation since 2010. It is our intension with the launch of this process for Jamaica to eventually have a casino gaming resort and also it is our intension to attract hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, to Jamaica via this means," said the Finance Minister.
 
Under the Casino Gaming Act, an integrated resort development is one consisting of a mix of various tourism amenities and facilities in the same precinct, including hotel rooms, villas, casinos, attractions, sporting facilities, entertainment facilities, service centres and shopping centres.
 

Further details including the guideline for application will be made public via daily newspapers and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service’s (www.mof.gov.jm) and JAMPRO’s (www.dobusinessjamaica.com) websites. 

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