By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
The only web shop operator to be denied a license yesterday complied with a Gaming Board order by closing 10 of its 11 locations, laying-off 86 staff in the process.
Anthony Brown, Bet Vegas’s president, told Tribune Business he was “tied up” paying his 86 former employees their due compensation.
He explained that Bet Vegas’s Mackey Street location remained open “to pay out outstanding winning tickets”, and the 86 staff were paid for the week and “put on notice” in case the web shop chain re-opens.
This suggests it may be exploring its legal options to fight the closure Order, and Mr Brown said of his staff: “Right now we have paid a week’s salary to the employees, even though this is a new week, because the situation is not their fault and it is Christmas time.
“We will keep them posted for new developments. We are looking at the options available to us right now. Hopefully we resume shortly.”
The Government last week issued a statement on behalf of the Gaming Board confirming that Bet Vegas, the only one out of nine web shop applicants to be rejected for a licence, had obtained an ex-parte Supreme Court Order on October 26 to block its closure.
The Government, though, said its application to set aside the October 26 Order was successful on December 1, and that Bet Vegas would have to ceaseit operations as of yesterday.
When contacted about the closure notice last week, Mr Brown expressed shock, telling Tribune Business: “That’s news to me.”
He suggested the closure Order was a ‘slap in the face’ for his business - the only web shop chain established after the sector was legalised. It is understood to have paid $1 million in taxes to the Government.
The eight companies that received a conditional web shop license are the FML Group of Companies trading as (t/a) FNM Webshop; GLK Ltd t/a A Sure Win; Jarol Investments t/a Chances Games; Paradise Games Bahamas t/a Paradise Games; Playtech Systems t/a Island Luck; T.I.G Investments Ltd t/a Percy’s at The Island Game; The Four Point Group Trading t/a Asue Draw + Spin; and Bahama Dream Web Café t/a Bahama Dreams.