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Trinidad and Tobago Casino Workers Oppose Casino Equipment Tax Increase

A union of casino workers brought accusations against the Government, alleging the latter in “treachery” by planning a discussion on a measure to increase casino taxes. Reportedly, a debate has been planned and scheduled for November 10th in the Lower House, aimed at taking into consideration a measure to double taxes imposed on local casinos.

The fact that the local Government has set a date for the debate before it organises a meeting with the casino workers’ union as promised, became the reason for the accusations and heated the situation.

According to the Union of Members Clubs and Lottery Workers, the fact that the planned discussion of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Order 2017 was breaching an offer from the Prime Minister’s Office made on October 19th. At the time, the administration of the Primer Minister suggested a meeting to discuss certain concerns related to the possible increase of the casino taxes with the Minister in the office of Fitzgerald Hinds, the Attorney General.

The Government Blamed for Lack of Transparency

The workers’ union explained that its representatives were still waiting for Hinds MP to set an official date for such a meeting. As explained by the union’s members, the Legal Notice 117, which informed them that the 100% increase in gaming equipment taxes was scheduled for this Friday, came as a great shock to them. Then, the union revealed that Hinds contacted them the day before in order for a meeting to be arranged.

As mentioned above, the Union of Members Clubs and Lottery Workers called the actions of the local Government a “treachery”, blaming the latter for lack of transparency and honesty when it comes to governance. As shared by the union, such actions killed the sense of trust between union members and local authorities, and more specifically, the Prime Minister. What is more, the planned 100% increase in casino taxes undermined the importance of any discussions held by the union and Minister Hinds, especially considering the fact that the tax increase had already been passed in the local Parliament.

The union further insisted for a meeting with the Prime Minister to be held as soon as possible. According to its members, the tax increase on casino equipment would not have a direct negative impact on casino owners, but casino employees would definitely be affected. According to the Union of Members Clubs and Lottery Workers, the new tax increase would end up with the casino owners reducing the number of gaming equipment in casino venues in order for the operators to cut the tax expenses on equipment which does not generate profit. This, on the other hand, would lead to a reduction in the number of employees.

The casino workers’ union called the local Government to give them a chance for a discussion on the controversial issues related to the tax increase before the tax is officially passed in the Parliament.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.