Four sports organisations are in for a vital injection of funds annually. This, after the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) signed a 20-year agreement with CAGE Barbados Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the United States-based CAGE companies, to operate, manage and administer on behalf of the BCA all aspects of a VLT Systems, Sports Betting and Games System and a Virtual Sports and Games System. This was done in the president’s suite at Kensington Oval yesterday afternoon.
According to Gregory Nicholls, chairman of the BCA’s Lottery and Gaming Committee, the agreement between CAGE and his organization represented a new dawn in the history of the BCA.
“The reason why we have come here today is to do a formal agreement of a 20-year professional agreement between the Barbados Cricket Association and CAGE Barbados Inc. We have been engaging in settling this agreement from 2009 until now. When president (Conde) Riley assumed the office of president in 2017 he charged me with the mandate of settling this issue. The conflict existed over the last ten years which prevented the BCA, the Barbados Turf Club, the Olympic Association (BOA) and the National Sports Council (NSC) from receiving their respective share of the revenue generated by the VLT Systems, Sports Betting and Games and Virtual Sports and Virtual System operating in Barbados,” Nicholls said.
He added: “This new agreement represents a new dawn for the BCA, the last ten years between CAGE, the BCA and the government, has been fraught with tension. The tax framework which caused the contention has been settled and the mechanisms for the receiving partners to collect the funds have been assured. We anticipate there will be close to 1200 terminals operating which is a significant increase of the 300 which have been operating over the last decade.
“We have already seen in the BCA an increase in the revenue paid in by the machines. Each of the four major benefactors (the BCA, the Turf Club, the BOA and NSC) will receive an additional $2 million every year going forward from the start of this new relationship.”
Nicholls said the Government had put in place the regulation which has created a new framework for the benefactrices to receive their share of the money generated by the VLT SYSTEMS, and the establishment of a new regulatory framework by the government in the last Budget, has paved a new way for how the gaming sector on the island is to be regulated.
He alluded to a call by Orson Simpson, Barbados’ chef de mission at the recently concluded Pan Am Games held in Lima Peru, for the BOA and other sporting federations to hold discussions to prioritise future funding for sport to excel.
“I noted the call by the chef de mission at the Pan Am Games for sports bodies to find a way to raise funds to finance sports on the island. I am happy that the BCA has led the way in settling a matter that has been lingering for the past ten years and now BOA, the Turf Club and the NSC can look forward to an increase in money to help them fund the development of their various sports,” Nicholls said.
Robert Washington, the chairman and chief executive officer of the CAGE companies, said his firm was pleased to settle the decade-old dispute and was looking forward to implementing a successful strategy and programme to help support the activities and projects of the BCA, the BOA and the NSC from the revenue generated from the VLT project.
Washington disclosed that CAGE would be making a donation of $100,000 to the BCA to assist with the development of cricket in Barbados.
“The new VLT project for the BCA and the other national sporting organizations should generate an estimated $2,164,094.90 per year for each of the four organizations or $8,656,379.60 for all four organizations annually,” Washington said.