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Betting shops in the Bahamas have had a controversial tax on gaming revenues delayed due to technicalities, while taxes on player deposits were delayed until the end of next month.
Bahamian Tourism Minister Dinoisio D'Aguilar announced the delays, saying that the various betting systems used by web-shops need to be re-certified. In the Bahamas, web-shops offer online casino and lottery services to punters, which are the only legal ways for residents to wager. There are more than 260 of these shops throughout the country that are spread out across multiple islands.
D'Aguilar said that the certification is more difficult than originally thought, as those in the government feel the shops are intentionally moving slow to make changes to new systems. The slow movement from operators comes after the country upped taxes on the shops as part of the 2018-2019 budget. Shops aren't happy, and in addition to working slowly on updating systems, have threatened to sue the government for upping taxes. The shops claim discrimination, as major resorts such as Atlantis and Baha Mar were not given hikes in the budget.
Players at these shops are also facing a 5% tax on deposits, which will add to the cost of playing.
No timetable for the implementation of the fees was available as of press time.