By Jerry Roker
for Bahamas Press
Several months ago, the Canadian banks doing business in The Bahamas, declared that local web shops are persona non grata at their banks. They would not accept funds generated by these properly licenced local black entrepreneurs. As I seem to recall, their rational was that as a matter of policy, their parent companies prevents them from doing so.
For the record, recent gaming legislation enabled Atlantis and similar establishments to conduct on-line gaming, for their foreign guests. The local web shops customer base are local Bahamians. Under The Financial Transaction Act and Proceeds of Crime Act, both are considered financial institutions and ought to be treated the same.
In my view, Atlantis’ operation is substantially more of a risk, in that they will have as their customers foreign players, using foreign currencies, while the local web shop operators are restricted to the domestic market.
The 2014 Gaming Act regularizes the local gaming industry and the same Know Your Customer and ant-money laundering protocols are in place for both the local and international financial institutions.
In any event, for you to thumb your nose up at a local business licenced to do business in a sovereign country, by the government of that country, where you are essentially a guest, while rolling out the red carpet for foreign owned businesses doing essentially the same thing, at a minimum is unfair, and one can argue that such behavior is racist.