The New Gaming Law

In the old days, when you entered a casino, glitzy and air-conditioned, you were supposed to present your cedula at the door, your ID, because locals were only allowed 3 visits a month to the casinos.

The people in charge of that process, the Casino Inspectors, were seated at a table at the entrance to the casino, and they wrote down, manually, your name and number before you ventured into the gaming emporium. They were well paid, and worked in a suit, befitting their white collar job. They were without fail loyal voters or campaign runners of this minister or the other; these cushy cool jobs were reserved for the most connected.

Imagine 11 casinos with two doors each, open almost 24 hours a day, that’s a boat load of Casino Inspectors. Best of all the casinos were presented with the man-power bill. They paid for the guys in the suit, scribbling at their gates.

When Rudy Croes was the minister of Justice, he did away with the trice a month instruction, and reduced the job of a Casino Inspector to reading the Diario and drinking coffee. Taking frequent cigarette breaks.

Over the years, their ranks have dwindled and today, there are still about 30 of them fully employed by a special government department, and no one could figure out what to do, retire them, for a bundle, re-write their job description. What? How?

Because a law has been sitting in parliament for over a decade, wishing to establish a Las Vegas style Gaming Board, designed to audit the casinos, verify how much money they take in and how much tax they are paying. And in general give us a sterling reputation as guardians of integrity and regulatory transparency.

But what to do with the previous set up??

A department full of guys in suits.

At the end, this week, they decided not to decide, and pass the law for a Gaming Board anyway, and hope that by attrition, the inspectors will disappear, while the casinos reminded GOA they are not to be charged for the Gaming Board activities, because they are already burdened by the Casino Inspectors.

The new law will regulates all gambling from Lotto, to Bingo, to the Lottery shacks on the side of the road, they will all have to go digital, to allow inspection.

Paying taxes in Aruba is not just a suggestion, with the Gaming Board in place more control is possible.

The people of the Gaming Board are still to be hired. Professionals with a legal background that are willing to learn about gaming, or gaming professionals that are willing to learn about the law.

An added advantage is the ability of the Gaming Board to vet any candidate wanting to operate a casino. In the past, casino licenses were awarded to any developer who build a 200 plus room hotel – maybe 300 plus. So the automatic grant of a casino license attracted ruffians that could not even open a bank account, and aimed at running a cash-only operation. Now the Gaming Board will supervise that.

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September 07, 2021
Rona Coster