MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – As part of Travel Agent’s coverage of the annual Jamaica Product
Exchange (JAPEX), we sat down with the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett Wednesday and learned that the Government of Jamaica has signed legislation to officially approve casino gaming for the first time in the country’s history.
Bartlett told us that, although the legislation was recently passed, there are still some minor matters to finalize. This includes setting up a committee to regulate the gaming, which will include establishing terms of distributing temporary licenses. Bartlett says all of those other details should be settled within the next six months. He told us he expects the first casino to be in operation by this time next year.
Bartlett says there will most likely be between three or five hotels that will operate casinos. To qualify as a possible host for a casino, however, a hotel must guarantee an investment of roughly $1.5 billion and must have at least 150-200 rooms.