Stakeholders are saying when the Gaming and Gambling law is passed the ARC should pursue…… SUNDAY HORSE RACING!


Some stakeholders in the horse racing industry are saying that when the Gambling and Betting Bill becomes law, the Arima Race Club (ARC) should pursue staging racing on a Sun­day.

Sunday racing is part of the draft legislation in the Gaming and Betting Con­trol Bill 2016 – a report of the Joint Select Committee was laid in the House of Representatives by Finance Minister Colm Imbert re­cently.
This is one of the initia­tives that the ARC can pur­sue to lure race fans and their families back to horse racing at Santa Rosa Park.
In most developed coun­tries around the world, horse racing is staged on a Sunday.
Imbert had said previous­ly that not a dot or a comma was changed in the Gaming legislation which was draft­ed when the Kamla Persad-Bissessar PP government was in office.
The Bill was passed in the House and was sent to the Senate where it was referred to a Joint Select Committee (JSC).
But before the JSC could start to examine the leg­islation, Parliament was prorogued in 2015 to make way for the General Elec­tion.
When the PNM govern­ment came into office in 2015 the Bill was sent back to the JSC to prepare a re­port which took more than four years which Imbert presented in Parliament to be debated.
Imbert focused more on the appointment of a Com­mission and the members who would be appointed to the Board and the heavy fines in the report.
Some observers are say­ing that it appears that the Government is more focus­ing on regulating the casino industry, curbing fraud and money laundering and oth­er criminal activities since Imbert made no mention of horse racing.
Attorney General Faris-al-Rawi said the provisions in the report were necessary to strengthen the ability of the police to pursue crimi­nals who may be using casi­nos to launder money.
This rush to bring the report of the JSC to regu­late the gambling industry comes on the heels of Al-Rawi going to Paris this week to try to get Trinidad and Tobago removed from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklist.
T&T and 15 other coun­tries were blacklisted by the FATF because it was not compliant with Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism.
Al-Rawi said T&T’s in­ability to be prepared to undergo its evaluation five years ago resulted in its lack of success.
He said T&T, in failing its January 2015 assess­ment, entered into that en­terprise unprepared. T&T is now going in its fourth-round assessment.
The AG will argue before the FATF that T&T is put­ting legislation in place to combat money laundering and terrorism financing by regulating the multi- billion-dollar gaming industry.