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Prime Minister and Minister of Finance announces lotteries tax to be placed on the income of boledo/lottery concessionaire – says $60 million was lost during Barrow regime

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Posted: Friday, May 13, 2022. 11:05 am CST.

By Aaron Humes, Belmopan: Monthly gross income on government lotteries will now see a 12.5 percent tax added, including boledo and Sunday jackpot.

Laying before the House the Lotteries Control (Amendment) Regulations, 2022, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance John Briceño explained that the primary act offers no exemptions from this tax, which is in addition to business and income taxes and is set by the responsible minister.

Back in 2011, Briceño said, the Dean Barrow administration by Statutory Instrument 88 of 2011 exempted government lotteries from the tax – all others pay and continue to pay.

“It is curious, to put it mildly, that such purported exemption from lottery tax was introduced at a time when the Boledo and the other government lotteries were being privatized, so that only one party, the concessionaire, would benefit from such exemption,” the P.M. said, further noting that there has been speculation of who owns the franchise and therefore benefited.

But the current administration has restored the tax, determining that nothing exists that allows the exemption, which Briceno said cost the government at least $60 million over the last decade at a time when things were rough and got even rougher during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reports suggested that the concessionaire would challenge the matter in court but we understand the Government has not been officially notified of such a challenge.

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