Stakeholder forum on countering AML/CFT hosted by Gaming Authority

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Junior Minister with the Ministry of Presidency, Dawn Hastings speaking at the forum

A Stakeholder Forum was on June 14, 2018 hosted by the Gaming Authority of Guyana at the Hermanston Lodge, aimed at enlightening stakeholders about the Local Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) policies and procedures.

Under the theme “Gaming the right way”, the Forum served 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.

Junior Minister with the Ministry of Presidency, Dawn Hastings, who was present at the forum emphasized on the need for dialogue between Stakeholders and those in authority, charging that Stakeholders should work in conjunction with the Law and the Gaming Authority, while expressing hope of transformation of the day’s proceedings into positive action with results.

In addition, Director of the Gaming Authority, Christine King, in her address at the Forum, 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 in ensuring that policies and procedures relative to AML/CFT are stringently observed and implemented by all gaming entities so as to bring about order and ensure that the gaming industry in Guyana is well regulated.

Also speaking was Matthew Langevine, the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). He informed the gathering that “AML/CFT Obligations for reporting entities of betting shops, lottery and casinos.”

He also 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.

Meanwhile, the Guyana Revenue Authority’s manager of the Tax Advisory Unit, Marcia Harris, 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, the Chief Executive Officer and Towana Whinfield, the Compliance Officer of the Gaming Authority on responsible gaming and best practices, and the 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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