Merger of gaming agencies will provide stronger oversight – BGLC Chairman

Chairman of the Betting, Gaming & Lotteries Commission (BGLC), Clovis Metcalfe, speaks at the opening ceremony of the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) Conference 2019, at the Half Moon Hotel in St. James, on Monday. (Photo: Okoye Henry, JIS)

Chairman of the Betting, Gaming & Lotteries Commission (BGLC), Clovis Metcalfe, says the merger of Jamaica’s three state-run gaming agencies will effect stronger oversight and sustainable regulation of the local gaming industry.

The entities – BGLC, Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC), and Casino Gaming Commission (CGC) – are currently undergoing a merger to create one entity – the ‘Jamaica Gaming Commission’.

“Having prepared for that merger, our organisations are transforming,” said Metcalfe while addressing local and foreign stakeholders at the opening ceremony of the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) Conference 2019, at the Half Moon Hotel in St. James on Monday, September 30.    

“Together, we will be a stronger, comprehensive regulator that will exercise its mandate to assure compliance, promote responsible gaming, and protect the public and those who are most vulnerable to the potential negative impacts of our industry,” he said.

Metcalfe, who is also Chairman of the CGC, noted the new regulatory entity will also be tasked with maximising government revenue by facilitating the orderly growth of Jamaica’s gaming industry.  

In the meantime, he said the decision to host the annual conference provides an opportunity for the country to network with colleague regulators from around the world, to “benchmark global industry standards and best practices”.

“Hosting the conference in Jamaica provides a unique opportunity for more of our team members to directly participate at the forum and experience first-hand the networking and knowledge sharing among global industry experts,” said Metcalfe.

 “We hope this will be a catalyst for greater participation of this region in the Association (IAGR),” he added.

The conference will be held from Monday, September 30 to Thursday, October 3, and is being hosted for the first time in the Caribbean.

Gaming regulators participating in the opening ceremony of the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) Conference 2019, at the Half Moon Hotel in St. James, on Monday, September 30. (Photo: Okoye Henry, JIS)

In attendance are regulators and industry representatives from North America, the Caribbean, South and Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

The event will feature presentations and discussions by more than 40 speakers and panellists covering diverse topics that reflect the gains, challenges and complexities of the industry in the respective jurisdictions.