By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
WEB shop operator Bet Vegas remained open this week despite failing to meet benchmarks set by the government to obtain a conditional gaming house license.
Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe, who has responsibility for gaming, confirmed yesterday that the Gaming Board sent a letter to Commissioner Ellison Greenslade last week informing him that the operator had been disqualified and ordered to close.
“(Police) they will have to carry out their own investigations, and act upon the information that they have, as is their right,” Mr Wilchcombe said. “We respect their decisions as to how and when, but that has been forwarded to the police now. We can’t get involved in how they do that.
“We sent everything out last week along with the licenses.”
Bet Vegas President Anthony Brown declined to comment on the company’s operations when contacted by The Tribune yesterday.
However, a source close to the matter confirmed that the company has sought recourse in the courts and as such remains operational.
Mr Wilchcombe told The Tribune yesterday that he had not been advised of any legal action.
Bet Vegas was the only disqualified applicant of the nine web shops that submitted requests for proposal (RFPs) to the government to receive a gaming house operator license.
Earlier this month, Mr Wilchcombe said Bet Vegas did not meet the “critical standards and benchmarks” that related to “each applicant’s qualification and eligibility to hold a gaming house operator license,” as well as “attributes central to the current and prospective financial viability of the applicant.”
And, by virtue of its disqualification, Bet Vegas was also found lacking the “capacity to create and maintain employment and generate tax revenue”.
The effective closure date for Bet Vegas was set for Monday, October 26.
The list of successful applicants are: FML Web Shop, A Sure Win, Chances Games, Paradise Games, Island Luck, Percy’s at the Island Game, Asue Draw + Spin, and Bahama Dreams.
Those companies must now complete a “series of regulatory requirements” before receiving a “plenary” gaming house operator license, Mr Wilchcombe said earlier this month.