Online and Mobile Gaming Now Legal in the Bahamas


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Online and Mobile Gaming Now Legal in the BahamasThe Bahamas are a popular winter destination for tourists and gamblers from the United States and the United Kingdom. The Bahamas consist of more than 700 islands. There are a number of casinos located on the islands but locals are barred from betting at the casinos at tourist resorts. Locals patronize underground gambling establishments known as "web shops." Although they are illegal the Bahamian police tend to turn a blind eye towards the underground casinos. Online gambling is legal for those from countries where the practice is legal. Since there are a large number of tourists from the UK online bingo is popular in the islands.

Recently the Nassau Guardian revealed that the government plans to draft a new law that would allow casinos to offer their patrons online gambling. Casinos can also offer mobile gambling. Minister of State for Legal Affairs Damian Gomez said the draft legislation has been in the works since June 2012 and also cautioned that the new law is not as "liberal" as many people think. Gomez told reporters "The new bill will permit online gaming in a restricted fashion. The persons who will be allowed to participate must be on property and secondly must come from a jurisdiction which permits them in their home jurisdiction to participate in online gaming.

Gomez went on to say "What that means is that most U.S. citizens will not be able to participate in the online gaming. Only those countries that allow it, their nationals will be able to participate." He said that local regulators will be equipped to make sure that the rules are enforced. Gomez said "It is adequately policed in Nevada, it is policed in Albany and we will essentially be looking at those jurisdictions for strategies and properly regulating it. It will require IT specialists, and the Gaming Board will be staffed appropriately and equipped with the appropriate equipment to do their job. The point is it's not intended to be a free-for-all and the legislation is fairly restrictive as to who can participate in it."

The Guardian revealed that one major resort will offer online and mobile gambling before the law is passed under a special exemption from Parliament. A Las Vegas based gaming firm will supply the infrastructure for online and mobile gaming at the resort. The legislation will allow tourists to play games such as online bingo at pools or beachside on smartphones or tablets. Warm weather, crystal clear waters and online bingo; what could be better?

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