The Cayman Islands are looking into ways to clear their reputation and a step towards doing that is clamping down on illegal gambling. Long have the islands served as a haven for illegitimate business. That time may be nearly gone.
The Cayman Islands Target Unlicensed Gambling
The Cayman Islands is now planning to put the crack on all illegal gambling operations taking place in the region or targeting citizens. A new bill is currently in the works, which will focus specifically on introducing measures designed to curb such activities.
One of the mulled changes is a hike in the fines that will be issued to any business that is caught running gambling activities. Similarly, participants will also be pursued. This will affect the unlicensed part of business, which will come under stricter regulation moving forward.
It would be the first time since 1964 that a new legal framework has been brought up. As a result, the fines that target illegal activities relating to gambling on the Islands will increase to $10,000 from previously $400. In addition, prison sentences for being involved in gambling activities will rise from three years from presently one year.
If an individual is found to have participated in a public lottery, they may be fined up to $2,500. Similar fines will apply to people who frequent unlicensed land-based gambling operators.
The latest string of measures has been precipitated by an increase in the levels of illegal gambling in the country, the Portfolio of Legal Affairs of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Services has revealed, informing the public about the planned changes.
Running Illegal Gambling Will Have a Price
While measures targeting gamers are not new, the actual punishments meted out to the organizers of such activities will be more significant in nature. It’s been decided that the maximum penalty of $5,000 and a year in prison would now be a common medium ground for anyone who runs gambling houses.
In addition, any location that continues to operate after it has been ordered to shut down, will have to pay a penalty of $100 for each day that it continues running.
People who cannot prove that they are the owners of a lottery ticket could also incur fines of up to $2,500, which is a significant increase from the current $20 fine. If someone is charged and proven guilty of running a gambling venue for an extended period of time, the fine may raise to $20,000 and the individual could be potentially sentenced to three years in prison.
Lottery activities will come under the same restrictions, with the fine listed as $20,000 and the prison sentence stretched to three years as well. People buying tickets for lottery from unauthorized operators may be charged with a fine as large as $5,000. With this in mind, The Cayman Islands is changing its stance on how it is handling the industry.
While some of these punishments look too oppressive, the likelihood of people being hit with the brunt of the penalty is miniscule. Legislators will first attempt to let culprits off with a warning. Repeating offenders, however, may soon find themselves in hot water with the authorities.