DH | No more lottery booths for now, temporary moratorium in place

Robbie’s Lottery

PHILIPSBURG–Government has moved to put in place a temporary moratorium on the construction and erection of lottery sales booths in the country.

This is in addition to the moratorium on the number of lottery licences that already exists. As a result of the temporary moratorium, which was published in the National Gazette on September 27, lottery companies may not construct or erect any more booths on the island. The amended policy goes into effect immediately after the date of publication in the National Gazette.

“This is a temporary measure that has been taken to give the Ministry [of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (TEATT)] an opportunity to determine the best methodology to properly allocate the number of allowed lottery booths and other types of sales outlets per licence holder, in such a way that it is fair and acceptable to all parties as well in the general best interest,” the notice in the National Gazette read.

In accordance with the Business Regulation for Companies (“Vestigingsregeling voor bedrijven”), a branch licence is required for every location selling lottery tickets for and on behalf of the lottery company. This includes but is not limited to grocery stores, supermarkets and gas stations.

These entities are not in possession of lottery licences. Therefore, such a place may only sell lottery tickets once the lottery company for which it is selling is in possession of a branch licence to conduct lottery sales from that location. Lottery companies will be given a period of six weeks from the publication date to submit requests for a branch licence for each of their sales points.

The branch licence fee as described in St. Maarten’s fee ordinance will also be applicable to branch licences for lottery companies. Currently, that fee is NAf. 1,250 per annum per branch licence.

According to the publication, the TEATT Ministry wants to regulate the gaming industry and believes there are measures that must be put in place to be able to better structure and regulate certain elements of the industry until such time that the gaming control board has been established.

“The Ministry has seen an undesirable development in the lottery gaming industry that requires immediate attention, the sporadic erection of lottery booths and the illegal sale of lottery games being the most pressing. This has led the Ministry to revise this policy to be able to better address and regulate the situation,” the notice stated.

The TEATT Minister has seen the need in the general interest to amend the lottery policy. The moratorium on the issuance of lottery licences as mentioned in the Lottery Licence Policy of December 4, 2012, remains in force, but has been amended.

Copies of the policy may be obtained via the Government website

www.sintmaartengov.org located under the Ministry of TEATT via the Department of Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication “Policies”, and the National Gazette.

The Lottery Licence Policy of December 4, 2012, was updated on September 6, 2019.

Bron: Daily Herald

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