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Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett (left), exchanges greetings with Chairman of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission Clovis Metcalfe (centre. At right is Director of Tax Policy, Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Ian Scarlett. (Photo credit: Garwin Davis/JIS)

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday June 22, 2017 – Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says Government is looking to position Jamaica as a major player in the Caribbean gaming industry.

He noted that the country is viewed as an “important and interesting new market” in the region, and once all the regulations are in place “the industry will be of fundamental importance to our tourism product”.

“This will give us more than a fighting chance to compete with rival jurisdictions,” Bartlett said as he addressed the recent Caribbean Gaming Show and Summit in Montego Bay.

Minister Bartlett pointed out that gaming has impacted positively on tourism in other countries, and Jamaica should be no exception. He noted that many Caribbean countries have already introduced or are considering gaming.

“It goes without saying that not only do we have to be introducing new games, we also have to be competitive,” he said. “Our legislation will be seeking to advance our gaming to ensure that we are offering what is being offered around the world, and even better, so that we can attract more people, because tourism is our main industry.”

The Tourism Minister said the staging of the summit in Jamaica provided an opportunity for players to better understand the island’s potential in gaming, while learning about developments in the Caribbean and where new partnerships can be forged between the region’s operators and global service providers.

“It also comes at a time when confidence among our tourism stakeholders here in Jamaica is at an all-time high and where optimism reigns supreme,” Bartlett said.

“Our just-concluded winter tourism season, from December 15 to April 30, saw the country recording never-before-seen numbers in both arrivals and earnings, and with the rest of the year shaping up to be even better.”

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