Will guests at all inclusive resorts be able to plunk down some bucks on a fast pony?
Debate began on two Bills in Jamaica’s House of Representatives this week, to establish a regulatory framework that will attract and support investment in the island’s horse-racing industry and finance the development of Caymanas Track into a modern world-class racing complex.
The Bills were piloted by minister of finance and the public service, Audley Shaw.
Shaw said Caymanas Track Limited, being the sole promoter of horse racing in Jamaica, has over the years been affected by inadequate funding to invest in improving its infrastructure and facilities for better revenue generation.
He noted that as a result of the recognition of the need to modernize and transform the horse-racing industry in Jamaica, the decision was taken to privatize the entity.
The minister noted that one of the main policy objectives these amendments seek to achieve is to provide the legislative support for the grant of geographic exclusivity with respect to the racing promoter’s licenses.
Shaw explained that the issue of an investor being provided an exclusive license is not unusual in a divestment, as investors will want to be assured that they can recoup their investments.
He added that the Bills, as drafted, would facilitate all-island exclusivity, as the bills allow for the terms and conditions of the grant of the licenses, such as duration and area covered, to be specified in the licenses.
The minister further said it is important to note that the licenses to be issued by the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission and the Jamaica Racing Commission would be subject to periodic reviews by the regulator.
For the Jamaica Racing Commission (Amendment) Bill, it proposes to give the minister the power to grant a license to operate a racecourse in respect of exclusive geographic areas.
“The passage of these Bills is imperative as the final terms have been negotiated for the long-term lease of Caymanas Park in St Catherine and the sale of all personal property owned by Caymanas Track Limited to Supreme Ventures Limited, the preferred bidder,” Shaw said.