By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
The only web shop operator denied a license again attacked this decision yesterday, telling Tribune Business: “Only in the Bahamas this nonsense could happen”.
Anthony Brown, Bet Vegas’ president, said the rejection had occurred despite it paying all outstanding taxes and relevant fees, and complying with every step of the Gaming Board process.
“There were nine operators that applied for licensing via the RFP process. Eight of the nine companies that applied were companies that existed in the industry when it was illegal. The only company that came into existence after the legaliaation of July 1, 2014, was Bet Vegas. The only company that was denied a license was Bet Vegas,” said Mr Brown.
“Bet Vegas has paid all of its fees that were levied for the RFP process in full. Bet Vegas has paid all of its monthly gaming taxes in full since the Government regulation came into effect; in excess of $400,000.
“Bet Vegas has paid all of its bills up to date, including National Insurance. Bet Vegas has spent over $200,000 to implement the systems and infrastructure that were required by the RFP for licensing,” he added.
“Bet Vegas also has its local server at Cable Bahamas, which was required by law. If all of these were put into place, then why is it that Bet Vegas is the only operator without a license?”
Bet Vegas has obtained a stay of the Supreme Court decision that effectively paved the way for its closure two weeks ago.
The company, which is seeking a Judicial Review of the Gaming Board/Government decision not to grant it a licence, obtained a December 18 court Order that stayed an earlier decision overturning the block on its closure.
Bet Vegas had obtained an ex-parte Supreme Court Order on October 26 to prevent its shut down. The Government, though, successfully applied to set aside the October 26 Order on December 1.
It subsequently told Bet Vegas to cease its operations by December 7, a move the operator complied with. It had 11 locations and 86 staff.
Now based on the latest Supreme Court Order, the December 1 decision has been stayed, along with the subsequent December 7 closure demand, until the Judicial Review application can be heard.
Mr Brown said he is the only operator with a US financial services license, having passed an in-depth vetting process there.
“Only in the Bahamas this nonsense could happen,” Mr Brown said of the Bet Vegas licence rejection. “This is where the Freedom of Information Act comes in handy. It’s needed badly in this country.”
The eight companies which have received a conditional web shop gaming license are the FML Group of Companies trading as (t/a) FNM Webshop; GLK Ltd t/a A Sure Win; Jarol Investments Ltd t/a Chances Games; Paradise Games Bahamas Ltd t/a Paradise Games; Playtech Systems Ltd 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 Ltd t/a Bahama Dreams.