By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
The only web shop operator to be denied a license yesterday claimed it was treated unfairly in the process, and never received the new mandatory Gaming Board requirements that were issued in September 2015.
Bet Vegas’s president, Anthony Brown, asked Gaming Board officials via a September 14 e-mail, seen by Tribune Business, why Bet Vegas/BVC Holdings had not received any notice or documentation of the new Gaming Board requirements.
“Suffice to say that Bet Vegas never got a response from any of the representatives at the Gaming Board on this particular e-mail request,” he said.
“I dealt with the Gaming Board with the utmost professionalism and respect, but it got so extremely [insane] that in one particular meeting with Board members there was an attempt to discredit my citizenship, despite them having my Bahamian birth certificate, my passport and my voter’s card.”
Bet Vegas subsequently obtained a stay of the Supreme Court decision that effectively paved the way for its closure two weeks ago.
However, the Gaming Board is intent on not making life easy for Bet Vegas, despite the December 18 Order staying its closure and allowing it to re-open.
The Gaming Board, via a newspaper advertisement yesterday, issued a Notice warning Bahamians that they could not participate in gaming activities at Bet Vegas locations, as the company was not one of its web shop licensees.
It also warned that all Bet Vegas accounts “must remain closed”, and that they could not be re-opened or used to conduct gaming transactions.
The Notice was backed by the threat of regulatory and police action should these terms be violated.
The effect of the Gaming Board’s action is that Bet Vegas is still shut down, even though its locations may be open, as no one can participate in gaming activities at those premises.
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.
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.