The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has founded a Gambling (Gaming and Betting) Control Commission (GCC) that will monitor and govern gambling activities across the dual-island Caribbean nation.
Earlier this week, Finance Minister Colm Imbert confirmed the appointment of the GCC’s first board of directors that will be led by Stephan Tang Nian as Chairman.
A sweeping reform of Trinidad and Tobago is expected to take place, in which the government has formed the GCC “to address the social concerns arising out of the proliferation of private member clubs providing casino-style games to the club members.”
Appointed as the GGC’s first Chairman, Tang Nian is a former senior government advisor on banking, auditing, and AML.
Joining Tang Nian on the GGC board is tech and cyber-securities expert Stevan Thomas as Deputy Chairman. Thomas is the Managing Director and Senior Software Developer of Trinidad-based tech solutions supplier Prodigy Software. Both Tang Nian and Thomas will serve a maximum term of four years.
The GCC’s remaining board members are composed of experts in the fields of gambling, business, IT AML, and law. These are Anil N Maraj, Asa Gabrielle Archie, Dave Arnold Seerattan, James Anthony Philbert, Jerome Herrera, Kalifa Julien, and Kenwyn Ogeer.
Last year, Trinidad and Tobago’s Upper House approved the passage of the Gambling Control Bill that ordered the government to establish a commission/board.
The Control Bill states that a commission/board must establish a framework to improve the protection of minors from gambling, launch a fund for rehabilitation and safeguard Trinidad and Tobago’s business community from gambling-related money laundering and further financial crimes.
The Bill reads: “It is expected that the Commission will establish a licensing framework which will aid in minimizing the potential for money laundering and terrorist financing due to the stringent criteria that will have to be met in order to obtain a license to work in the gaming and betting sectors.
“It is recognized that these sectors have the potential to contribute meaningfully and positively to the national economy, if regulated effectively, by creating employment, not only in the sector but in other downstream sectors, thereby creating greater tax revenues.”