No date has yet been for a meeting between Finance Minister Colm Imbert and the owners and/or shareholders and/or directors of private members clubs. This was the word yesterday from senior government officials in response to a statement from the TT Members Club Association that it has accepted Imbert’s invitation to the “owners” meet. One official said, “We are waiting for the majority of owners of the 240 clubs to respond.” A second official added there has been, “not much response yet” from these clubs. They were uncertain as to whether or not the association was a registered one and who it represented.
The first government official also questioned the association’s call for Imbert and Minister in the Ministry of Finance Allyson West to have a public debate with them on issues surrounding the gaming industry. Noting the Gambling (Gaming and Betting) Control Bill 2016 is currently before a joint select committee of Parliament, this official said, “What they will get is proper enforcement of the law. The association has disagreed that the gaming industry is estimated between $15 to $20 billion and that the compliance of members clubs is less than ten percent.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, parliamentary sources yesterday said there is no basis for any legal action against the banning of two people from Parliament last week. “Parliament regulates its own affairs, especially who can or cannot enter its precincts.”
In a statement last Friday, the Parliament said two people were banned from being admitted to the Parliament’s precincts, after they were involved in a disruption of last Thursday’s sitting of the Senate. Speaker of the House of Representatives Bridgid Annisette-George made the order.