Commission sets ball rolling on guidelines for Jamaica’s future casinos

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Determined to make sure Jamaica’s future casinos will go off with a hitch, the Casino Gaming Commission (CGC) has teamed up with the Bureau of Standards Jamaica to set up the standards needed for the gambling establishments.

Media outlet The Gleaner reported that the two agencies have already put out advertisements calling for interested groups to join the discussions on the Jamaican standards, which will mirror the international standards from Gaming Laboratories International.

According to the report, the standards will cover monitoring and control systems and gaming equipment, including jackpotting devices, electronic table games and cashless gaming.

CGC, established after the Casino Gaming Act of 2012 went into law, is the Caribbean island nation’s regulatory body for casino gaming. The commission is in charge of granting casino licenses, which the law has limited to only three.

CGC CEO Phillip Shelton told The Gleaner that they have yet to receive an application for a casino license, but that’s not stopping the regulatory body from setting the standards in place.

“What we are establishing are the standards for gaming equipment that might be used in a casino in the future. We are setting the standards for all the types of gaming equipment, in particular, gaming machines that might operate in any proposed casino,” Shelton said, according to the media outlet.

Last year, Jamaica awarded provisional approvals for two of the five applications it received for the maximum number of casinos allowed under the gaming act.

The first and larger project, Harmony Cove Limited, is a partnership between investment firm Tavistock Group and the state-owned Harmonization Limited. The first phase of the project is expected to cost an estimated $970 million and will involve five hotels with up to 5,000 hotel rooms, 450 residential units, two PGA-caliber golf courses, a 350-boat marina and a dedicated private airport.

The second project, Robert Torra’s Celebration Jamaica Development Ltd., plans to spend $500 million on the first phase of its Montego Bay project, which is expected to have 75,000 square feet of casino and sports book space as well as bars, restaurants, retail outlets, an entertainment complex and other non-gaming options.

Applications of the three other bidders—Amaterra Jamaica, Casino Royale and Fiesta Jamacia—were either rejected or withdrawn during the government’s diligence phase.

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