The gambling industry in the Cayman Islands has flourished during the last few years as there has been very little policing. Both operators and players have enjoyed a free hand which has in many ways worked out well for the Caribbean island which thrives on tourism. Gambling is prohibited on the island but there are a number of venues that offer classic casino games and lottery tickets.
The lack of stringent regulations has enabled illegal gambling operations to grow their business rapidly in the Cayman Islands. The authorities are aware of many gambling venues but usually turn a blind eye. All this is set to change as the illegal gambling business has grown significantly and has caught the attention of the government.
The Gambling Law which was passed in 1964 currently dictates rules and regulations for gambling operations in the Cayman Islands. The law hasn’t been updated in over four decades and is not as stringent as it should be. Legislators are now looking to make significant changes to this law, especially with regards to fines and penalties that will be imposed on illegal gambling operators.
The current fine for using a premise for gambling related activities, handling money from gambling operations and publishing lottery numbers is only $400 and the prison term is set at 12 months. The new legislation will look to increase this fine to $10,000 and push the prison term to 3 years.
The new law will not only come down hard on illegal gambling operators but also on players who participate in illegal gambling. The existing law imposes a fine of $10 and a max prison sentence of 60 days to players who participate in buying lottery tickets or gambling on the island. The new law will see these fines go up to $2,500 and a prison term of 6 months.
Illegal Gambling Linked To Crime Increase
The Portfolio of Legal Affairs of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has also published a report which has linked an increase in crime to an increase in gambling related activities on the island between 2015 to 2018.
The report said
These statistics also suggest a strong connection between certain crimes and gambling activities. This is evidenced by the number of reported robberies, including firearm-related robberies, assaults and other violent crimes that have been proven to be gambling related