CHEATING at gambling is to be deemed a criminal offence under a new law, Finance Minister Colm Imbert told the House of Representatives on Friday. He was moving a motion for the House to adopt the report of the Joint Select Committee on the Gambling (Gaming and Betting) Control Bill 2016.
He justified the censure by saying cheating at gambling can undermine the local gaming sector. Imbert read out other acts banned by the law, such as bringing a gun onto gambling premises. He justified the restrictions as being needed for gambling to occur in an environment that is “fair, honest and free of criminality.” He said the Government had gone beyond the normal requirements in interrogating the bill, yet unnamed individuals had sought to drag out and delay the JSC’s work.
“A comprehensive examination of legislation was overdue for 20 years,” Imbert said. “I can’t see any reason, unless there is some motive, for members opposite not to support the bill. In an aside, he said the definition of betting under the bill has been expanded from wagers on traditional animal sports to include novel wagers such as betting on the world price of oil. “The gambling and betting industry will be regulated properly for the first time.”