Vanuatu Consolidated Legislation - 1988
Commencement: 28 October 1983
LAWS OF THE REPUBLIC OF VANUATU
REVISED EDITION 1988
Act23 of 1983
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
2. Prohibition of gaming machines and gaming tables
3. Exceptions to section 2
4. Licensing of gaming machines etc.
5. Gaming duty
6. Licences to be displayed
7. Revocation of gaming licences
8. Search warrants
11. Provisions concerning Cap. 33
To make further provisions with respect to gaming and for purposes connected therewith.
1. In this Act-
"game of chance" includes-
(a) a game of chance and skill combined and the fact that a game contains an element of skill shall not prevent it being treated as a game of chance if nothing but a superlative skill can overcome the element of chance;
(b) without derogation from the generality of the foregoing, baccarat, blackjack, chemin de fer, craps, roulette, trente et quarante, vingt-et-un and any other game which is essentially similar to any of them;
(c) any other game which the Minister may, after consultation with the Minister responsible for home affairs, by Order declare to be a game of chance for the purposes of this Act, having regard to the character of the game and the circumstances in which it is played;
"gaming" means playing a game of chance for winnings in money or money's worth;
"gaming licence" means a licence issued under section 4;
"gaming machine" means a machine (commonly known as "poker machine") operated mechanically or electrically-
(a) which is constructed or adapted for playing a game of chance by means of it; and
(b) where a player pays to play the machine either by inserting a coin or token into the machine or in some other way; and
(c) where the outcome of the game is determined by the chances inherent in the machine, whether or not means are provided for manipulation of the machine by a player;
"gaming table" means any table or other surface constructed or adapted for playing any game of chance;
"hotel" does not include a pension, boarding house or similar establishment;
"Minister" means the Minister responsible for finance;
"premises" includes any vehicle and any ship belonging to Vanuatu by reason of registration or otherwise.
PROHIBITION OF GAMING MACHINES AND GAMING TABLES
2. Subject to the provisions of section 3 no gaming machine or gaming table shall be provided for gaming at any place in Vanuatu.
EXCEPTIONS TO SECTION 2
3. The provisions of section 2 shall not apply to the provision of gaming machines or gaming tables on the premises of-
(a) any hotel;
(b) any club (whether incorporated or unincorporated and whether members' or proprietary) which is not set up and conducted with a view to profit or private gain;
(c) any pleasure ship or other vessel:
Provided that there is a valid gaming licence in respect of any such machine or table. 2
LICENSING OF GAMING MACHINES ETC.
4. (1) A gaming licence may be issued by the Minister after consultation with the Minister responsible for home affairs on application by a person having the management of the premises referred to in section 3.
(2) A gaming licence unless revoked earlier under section 7, shall be valid until the 31 December of the year of issue.
(3) The Minister may issue a licence under this section under such conditions to be specified in the licence as he may think fit.
(4) Without derogation from the generality of subsection (3) it may be a condition of a licence that a gaming machine or table may only be used by the residents of the hotel, members of the club, or passengers of the ship or vessel, as the case may be, where the machine or table is placed, and by bona fide guests of such persons.
5. (1) On every gaming machine and gaming table in respect of which a gaming licence is issued there shall be charged a gaming duty at such rate as the Minister shall by Order prescribe.
(2) Different rates of gaming duty may be prescribed in respect of different classes of premises specified in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of section 3.
(3) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that the provision of gaming machines or gaming tables in respect of which a gaming licence is in force shall not be regarded as supply of goods or services for the purposes of the Hotel and Licensed Premises Act, Cap. 141, and, accordingly, no tax shall be charged under that Act in respect of such machines or tables.
LICENCES TO BE DISPLAYED
6. (1) The person having the management of the premises on which gaming machines or gaming tables are provided shall secure that the gaming licence is prominently affixed to each machine or table in respect of which it is issued, or, where that is not practicable, that it is prominently displayed near such machine or table in such manner as to enable such machine or table to be easily identified.
(2) Any such person who fails to comply with the provisions of subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.
Penalty: a fine of VT50,000.
REVOCATION OF GAMING LICENCES
7. (1) The Minister may revoke or refuse to renew a gaming licence at any time on any of the following grounds-
(a) that the licence has been obtained by fraud or misrepresentation;
(b) that the person having the management of the relevant premises or the persons employed thereon are not fit and proper persons for such purposes;
(c) that the relevant premises are not in any class of premises specified in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of section 3.
(d) that the relevant premises have not been so conducted as to prevent disturbance or disorder;
(e) that gaming on the relevant premises has been dishonestly conducted;
(f) that the relevant premises have been used for an unlawful purpose or as a resort of criminals or prostitutes;
(g) that any conditions of the licence have not been complied with by any person;
(h) that appropriate precautions against the danger of fire have not been observed, or have been insufficiently observed in the use of the relevant premises.
(2) In this section "relevant premises" means the premises specified in the gaming licence.
8. If a magistrate is satisfied on information on oath that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence under this Act is being or has been committed on any premises, he may issue a warrant authorising any police officer or other person to enter those premises, if necessary by force; and any such officer or person may seize and remove any document, money, instrument or other thing whatsoever found on the premises which he has reason to believe may be required as evidence in any proceedings for an offence under this Act.
9. (1) Any person who-
(a) provides or is a party to providing a gaming machine or gaming table for gaming at any place in Vanuatu other than the premises specified in paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of section 3; or
(b) provides or is a party to providing a gaming machine or gaming table for gaming at any such premises without a valid gaming licence in respect of such machine or table; or
(c) contravenes or fails to comply with any of the conditions of a gaming licence, shall be guilty of an offence.
Penalty: a fine of VT500,000 and imprisonment for 1 year.
(2) Where an offence under this Act committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate, he as well as the body corporate shall be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
10. Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 9 the court may order anything (including money) produced to the court and shown to relate to the offence to be forfeited and either destroyed or dealt with in such other manner as the court may order.
PROVISIONS CONCERNING CAP. 33
11. The provisions of the Amusement Machines Tax Act, Cap. 33 shall not apply in relation to gaming machines and gaming tables.
THE GAMING CONTROL (RATE OF DUTY) ORDER
To prescribe the rate of duty payable for a gaming licence.
Order 67 of 1983
The rates of gaming duty payable in respect of gaming machines or tables shall be as follows-
(a) for machines or tables in a hotel-
the rate of annual duty is VT150,000 per machine or table and pro rata for a period of less than 1 year, in which case part of a month shall count as a whole month for the purpose of assessing the fee payable;
(b) for machines or tables in a club-
the rate of annual duty is VT150,000 per machine or table and pro rata for a period of less than 1 year in which case part of a month shall count as a whole month for the purpose of assessing the fee payable;
(c) for machines or tables in a pleasure ship or other vessel-
the rate of annual duty is VT150,000 per machine or table and pro rata for a period of less than 1 year in which case part of a month shall count as a whole month for the purpose of assessing the fee payable.