23 arrests linked to illegal gambling made since Gaming Commission-OCID agreement
The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) is reporting that there have been 23 arrests for illegal gambling and related crimes, since it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID) of the police force more than a year ago.
The Commission has also noted that there have been seven convictions during that period.
Chairman of the BGLC, Gary Peart, says the MOU signed in October 2014 has allowed the two entities to be more incisive in their investigations and the gathering of intelligence.
Peart was speaking during a consultation meeting with government officials from the Turks and Caicos Islands, to aid that country in the formulation of its gaming legislation and regulations.
Under the MOU, OCID provides the BGLC with additional personnel and investigative, surveillance, technical and specialist support to help in the prosecution of crimes detected under the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act.
Peart says the BGLC has also been able to provide the police with additional equipment to further boost its capacity to carry out raids and do investigations.
Meanwhile, Peart says the BGLC will be launching a hotline within the next three months through which members of the public can provide information about illegal gaming.
An estimated $10 billion in industry revenue is lost annually due to the proliferation of illegal gambling and related activities.
The police say there are probable links to the illegal weapons trade and money laundering.