About Us

VISION STATEMENT

To be recognised internationally as a leading regulator.


MISSION STATEMENT

The Mission of the Gaming Board of The Bahamas is to protect the integrity of the Gaming Industry by keeping it free from the influences of organized crime; by assuring the honesty, good character and integrity of all licensed operators and employees; and to ensure that Gaming is conducted fairly and in accordance with the provisions of the Gaming Act (2014), the Gaming Regulations (2014), the Gaming House Operator Regulations (2014) and the Gaming Rules (2015).


HISTORY

The Lotteries Prohibition Act was passed in 1901 which thereby effectively established that all lotteries and gaming activities within The Bahamas were illegal. However, brick and mortar casinos began to open illegally in the 1920’s during the American Prohibition Era. These casinos included the Bahamian Club (1920) and the Cat Cay Club (1924). In 1930, there was a change in law which afforded the Governor-in-Council powers to exempt certain persons and bodies from prohibition through the issuance of Certificates of Exemption. This signalled the beginning of a regulated Gaming Industry in The Bahamas, as the foundation was laid for the development of a licensing procedure for lotteries and gaming.

In 1967, a Commission of Inquiry into Casino gambling was appointed by the then Governor, the 8th Baron Thurlow, with a view to:

a.
Enhancing The Bahamas’ Tourism product;
b.
Eradicating the serious problems associated with illegal gambling through the criminalization of lotteries and related activities;
c.
License casinos meeting prescribed criteria; and
d.
Raise revenue for the Government.

It was out of this conclave that the Lotteries and Gaming Act, 1969 (“the 1969 Act”) was created.The 1969 Act gave birth to the establishment of the Gaming Board for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas (“the Gaming Board”) in accordance with Section 32(1).

The Gaming Board thereby became a body corporate, with perpetual succession and a Common Seal. The general purpose of the Gaming Board was the regulation of casino gambling, through keeping under review the extent, character and location of gaming facilities which were being provided on premises in respect of which licences under the 1969 Act were issued; and to perform such other regulatory functions as mandated thereunder.

The 1969 Act has been amended sporadically since being enacted to make provision for additional procedures and requirements, as well as to expand the range of activities authorised by a gaming licence, including sports betting and pari-mutuel wagering.

Due to the advent of modern technology, there was a great need to update the 1969 Act. The Casino Association led the charge for this to occur as it was crucial for them to be internationally competitive. It was the Government of The Bahamas, spearheaded by the Minister of Tourism, The Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe, who took up the mantle initiating an exhaustive effort to modernize the gaming laws and regulations in order to transform The Bahamas into a premier, reputable, well regulated and internationally competitive gaming destination.

In 2014, the passage of new gaming legislation namely, The Gaming Act, The Gaming Regulations, and the Gaming House Operator Regulations, sought to conform to international best-practice standards by putting in place stringent qualification requirements for participation in gaming and related activities. The legislation also established a stringent regulatory process for the licensing and regulation of the gaming industry whilst legitimizing a previously unregulated industry known colloquially as “Web Shops” in an effort to usher them in to the stability of a regulated environment. Thus, the 1969 Act was repealed by the implementation of the 2014 legislative instruments; however, the Gaming Act, 2014 provided for the continuation of the Gaming Board as was established under the 1969 Act.

The New Gaming Legislation aided in the revitalization of the industry through the following:

-
Enhancing The Bahamas’ Tourism product;
-
Eradicating the serious problems associated with illegal gambling through the criminalization of lotteries and related activities;
-
License casinos meeting prescribed criteria; and
-
Raise revenue for the Government.
-
Enhancing The Bahamas’ Tourism product;
-
Eradicating the serious problems associated with illegal gambling through the criminalization of lotteries and related activities;
-
License casinos meeting prescribed criteria; and
-
Raise revenue for the Government.
-
Enhancing The Bahamas’ Tourism product;
-
Eradicating the serious problems associated with illegal gambling through the criminalization of lotteries and related activities;
-
License casinos meeting prescribed criteria; and
-
Raise revenue for the Government.