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Whe Whe will make a comeback with tax

Published: 
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

As a former Dep Director of NLCB, I must say that the measure announced by the Minister of Finance to impose a tax of 10 per cent on the winnings of NLCB games will see a rise of illegal games of chance once again in the country, in particular illegal Whe Whe. There will be a decline in the revenues generated by the NLCB main income earner of Play Whe with this regressive tax.

The introduction of the NLCB’s Play Whe in 1993 by then minister Wendell Mottley dealt a serious blow and served to constrict the illegal operation of Whe Whe.

The last few years has seen the rise of illegal Whe Whe operated in most part by non-national Chinese, but the announcement by the Minister of Finance will no doubt create the enabling environment for an explosion of the illegal game.

Why would anyone play the NLCB’s game any more when their winnings will be the subject of a 10 per cent tax when they can play a similar game which will offer better odds and not be taxed? Minister Imbert’s taxation measure defies logic and only will serve to increase illegal activity.

The Ministry of Finance has failed to enforce existing legislation to shut down these illegal Chinese Whe Whe operations that has been estimated at $100 million a year.

Devant Maharaj