WATCH: Casino workers protest gambling taxes
Public Services Association (PSA) President Watson Duke casino workers and others gathered outside of Parliament on Friday to protest government's proposed gambling tax increases, saying the measures would force businesses to shut down and cause them to lose their jobs.
Duke walked back and forth before the crowd which cheered him on.
Some people booed MPs as they walked into Parliament to hear Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar's response to the 2018 Budget.
A representative of the Union of Members Clubs and Lottery Workers (UMCLW) said they are not adverse to the taxes but are simply asking government to reconsider the severity of the measures. Also present were members of the Amusement Gaming Association (AGA).
Workers said the casino and gambling sector has taken in workers from downtrodden areas and allowed them to survive.
One woman said as a result of working within the gambling sector she had been able to put her children through school abroad as well as starting her own business.
The workers are asking government to reconsider some of the proposed measures which would be applied from January 1, 2018, which are as follows:
- 40 percent tax on mechanical games
- 10 percent tax on all cash winnings by the National Lotteries Control Board
- $120,000 flat tax on electronic roulette devices in bars under the liquor licence
- Gaming tax increased to $6,000 for each amusement game
- $100,000 per year for every baccarat table
- $120,000 per year for every black jack table
- $150,000 per year for every Caribbean stud poker table
- $70,000 per year for every dice table
- $60,000 per year for every poker table
- $120,000 per annum for every roulette table
- $120,000 per year for every Rum 32 table
- $150,000 per year for every Sip Sam table
- $24,000 per year for every slot machine
- $60,000 per year for every other table or device not mentioned.