Following discussions with himself and the Premier, Dr. Hon. Rufus Ewing, the Minister of Finance, Hon. Washington Misick will no longer have Lottery & Gaming as a part of his portfolio.
This decision comes following a request made by Hon. Misick for a transfer of responsibility for Lottery & Gaming to another Minister to avoid the possibility of perceived conflict of interest. In April of this year, Cabinet imposed a one-year Moratorium on the issuance of new gaming licenses in an effort to address the concerns raised by the Ministry of Finance, and the 2008 Caribbean Financial Task Action Force report, which suggested that the Gaming Industry in the Turks & Caicos Islands was non-compliant to international standards. The moratorium, is intended to give Government the time needed to develop legislation and policies to regularize the industry,
“We as a Government have a job to do. We are taking a number of measures to show the world that we are not a rogue Government. We are making every effort in our financial sector to ensure that we are compliant to international standards and can be respected as a fair and transparent financial services center. Our Lottery & Gaming industry should not be an exception.”
“I take the job that the people have given me very seriously. It is not a game, it is serious business. While I have done my part in declaring my interests in this matter and have refrained from inclusion in decisions made with regards to Lottery and Gaming, I think that it is in the best interests of everyone for the responsibility to be transferred in order to avoid misconception and my integrity coming into question and that of our Government,” the Minister said.
Despite the imminent transfer, and as is the responsibility of all Cabinet members, Hon. Washington Misick will continue to enact his position of exclusion on decisions made relating to this Industry. The responsibility for Lottery & Gaming will be transferred to Dr. Hon. Rufus Ewing, Premier and Minister of Tourism, effective October 1, 2013.