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“Given that Mauritius is a tourist destination, this measure was launched in an attempt to attract a specific niche of travellers, mostly those hailing from


and it appears there is little enthusiasm to date.


Reina Veerabadren, Public Relations and Responsible Gambling Officer at the GRA said: “Te Hotel Casino Licence was introduced during the National Budget of 2018. We have invited potential operators to send their applications last year and the applications are currently being processed.


“Given that Mauritius is a tourist destination, this measure was launched in an attempt to attract a specific niche of travellers, mostly those hailing from East Asia. Access to Hotel Casinos will be open only to foreigners and non- residents.”


Financially, the new measures favour the hotel casinos. Currently a casino and gaming house pay MRs3.5m for their licence and MRs125,000 per slot per year. Other benefits for the hotel sector mean they do not have to provide a guarantee whilst casinos and Gaming House A operators have to pay a deposit of MRs1.2m. Gaming tax for hotel casinos is also only 15 per cent of gross income monthly (which will increase to 20 per cent after July 2021) whilst existing casinos pay 15 per cent of gross takings


East Asia. Access to Hotel Casinos will be open only to foreigners and non-residents.”


Reina Veerabadren, Responsible Gambling Officer, GRA


in respect of table games and 35 per cent for gaming machines. Gaming House A (Category 2) pay 30 per cent in terms of table games and 35 per cent for gaming machines.


Meanwhile, other changes included in the 2018 Finance Act mean that as from September last year the National Lottery, casino operators, hotel casino operators and gaming house operators need to deduct a tax of 10 per cent on the amount of winnings over MRs100,000.


Te government is also setting up a Responsible Gaming Programme with a series of measures to create awareness among gamblers and non gamblers which will include a national survey to identify player profiles.


Reina Veerabadren added: “Since February 2018, the GRA has appointed responsible gambling consultants from North America to develop a


tailor made responsible gambling framework for the country. As responsible gambling is a notion that is new to Mauritian players, we are primarily focussing on creating awareness and setting up a support system for problem gamblers.


“In July 2018 we launched our first responsible gambling helpline dedicated to problem gamblers and whistle blowers. Tis year we shall set up a national self exclusion programme to further support players willing to keep their gambling habits in check.


“In December 2018 we completed a study that aims to understand gamblers and non-gamblers perceptions regarding the local gambling landscape. Te findings will be used to devise a national advertising campaign. We are planning to launch the responsible gambling advertising campaign during the coming months.”


NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA P67


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