Gaming a double-edged sword, says Evans – Jamaica Gleaner

While the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act, the legislation which governs Jamaica’s gaming industry, makes it very clear that persons under the age of 18 should not participate in gambling activities, the unfortunate reality is that technology and other factors are making it easier for them to so do.

For this reason, Vitus Evans, executive director of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC), last Tuesday, described gaming, or gambling as it is commonly called, as a doubled-edged sword.

“This activity provides significant benefits to our economy, while, at the same time, having some negative associations,” he told those gathered at the awards ceremony for the Youth Prevention Gambling All-Island Poster Competition 2017.

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“Gaming enterprises provide employment and legitimate income for thousands of Jamaicans and revenue for the Government … The downside of gambling faces us when there are no counter measures in place to minimise or eliminate the negative impacts,” Evans admitted to the audience comprised mainly of school children.

He went on to explain that the responsible gaming programme funded by the BGLC is a critical aspect of the effective management and regulation of the local gaming industry. Since 2005, it has funded the comprehensive training, prevention and treatment programme implemented by RISE Life Management Services to address the potentially devastating downside to this range of recreational activities.

No easing up on teenage gambling – BGLC executive director

Jamaica’s responsible gaming programme is now recognised as a best practice in other gaming jurisdictions around the region, but Vitus Evans, the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) executive director, warned that the country should not relax its clampdown on teenage gambling.

“One of the sharp contrasts of the current generation of Jamaican youth when compared to earlier generations is the prevalence of inducements and the ease

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