Gambling Control Authority to cease paying dividends to Govt

The Gambling Control Authority (G.C.A.) will no longer be paying dividends to the Government, since there are no grants received from the Government for its operation.  

This was revealed in Parliament on Tuesday by Minister of Public Enterprises Lautafi Selafi Purcell during his speech. 

He said the gambling authority was established to oversee gambling games, as Government recognises that public interests vary when it comes to gaming. 

Not everyone plays rugby or soccer, or likes sports for that matter and gambling provides another avenue for the public to spend their recreational time, said the Minister.

He added that by controlling these games, Government protects the varied interests of the public, while being able to collect fees that help to fund other activities in the community including contributions to sports organisations and not-for-profit organisations. 

Lautafi said the G.C.A. also offers financial assistance for students with excellent grades but cannot afford their school tuition.

“This [assistance] is for students attending University but the family cannot afford the tuition. The student has good grades and should pursue his education, but due to financial constraints the student is unable to register. This is where the [G.C.A.] comes in,” said the Minister. 

He pointed out that the G.C.A. has paid dividends to the Government, most recently with a cheque for $300,000 presented a few weeks ago. 

It is the first installment towards its total dividend of $984,859.65 which will be paid in full by July 2021. 

The Minister said in the last five years, the G.C.A. has donated $907,000 to Sports endeavors while $17,000 was given to the charitable organizations. 

“For education purposes $76,372, and total financial assistance is over $1 million as of last year,” said the Minister. 

The Casino and Gambling Control Act 2010 has five objectives that the G.C.A. is tasked with administering, and its success will be measured against the attainment of these objectives; to promote probity and integrity in gambling; and to maintain the probity and integrity of persons engaged in gambling in Samoa; and to promote fairness, integrity and efficiency in the operations of persons engaged in gambling in Samoa; and to reduce any adverse social impact of gambling; and to promote a balanced contribution by the gambling industry to tourism and general community benefit and amenity. 

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