The long-discussed Gaming Control Board (GCB) came up once more in Thursday’s meeting of the Central Committee of Parliament about necessary changes to harmonise legislation regarding the supervision of financial institutions. The ongoing US correspondent bank issue was also mentioned and UP fraction-member Franklin Meyers indicated that the lack of such a regulatory body for the casino sector might be part of the problem.

Finance Minister Richard Gibson answered that the two matters are not directly related, although “talking about it for 20 years” without establishing a GCB is hardly the route one wants to take. In his opinion, having such an organisation would indeed send a message of trying to comply with international standards regarding financial traffic.

However, the same Minister back in early August 2016 was said to be putting his “finishing touches” on the GCB. The articles of association had supposedly been completed already before St. Maarten gained country status per 10-10-10.

The island’s gambling industry was identified in several law enforcement reports as a potential source of organised crime, corruption and money-laundering. The current legal troubles of the biggest local casino boss will only have contributed to that image.

Recently-sworn-in new Minster of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher last month again announced legislation to finalise the installation of a GCB. The question is how much longer this process can possibly take.

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