Tuesday 21 November, 2017

'Roulette tables like Play Whe on steroids', Imbert says

Finance Minister Colm Imbert has described roulette tables like Play Whe on steroids.

He made the comment in the House of Representatives on Friday as he contributed to the debate on the Motion to confirm the Provisional Collection of Taxes Order 2017.

“That’s where all the money is generated, I am told, on the roulette table. The slot machines and these other things, they generate some revenue but nowhere close to the roulette table, where as much as 12 people sit down and you have a winning number being announced every 20 seconds. Unbelievable! I understand it’s some kind of exponential Play Whe somebody told me, this is what this thing is like, some kinda super Play Whe, Play Whe on steroids.”

Imbert said there was no reason for casino owners to send home staff because of the increased tax on the gaming industry, claiming they make hefty annual profits.

He said one roulette machine can generate between $500,000 and $1 million annually.

The Finance Minister added, “I am told when you do the calculation...one roulette machine after paying the wages of the workers and the overheads of the club and the tax imposed by the government, can generate somewhere between $500 thousand and $1 million.”

He therefore questioned why casino owners would want to send home staff.

The Finance Minister asked, “Now if that is true… that one roulette machine can generate $500 thousand dollars in profit for its owners…and if the tax is raised from $60 thousand to $120 thousand, why on God’s earth would you send home the workers?”

He also added that talk about jobs cuts is ‘an attempt to terrorise’ workers.

“If one roulette machine is generating $500 thousand in profit, they not going to send home any workers, that’s just talk, that’s just an attempt to terrorise people and if they do it, it’s just pure wickedness. And they will have to hire them back because if the machines earning $500 thousand dollars, the machine cannot work on its own, these are not robotic devices. You have to have somebody there operating the roulette table,” Imbert said.

The tax on electronic roulette devices will now be $120 thousand dollars.

Minister Imbert said the new tax which will come into effect in January 2018 is expected to generate $84 million, once there is full compliance.