Guyana’s Gaming Authority: Blame shifting and known unknowns

first_imgDear Editor,The waffling pronouncements from the Gaming Authority over the last three weeks are logically inexplicable, defying legal specificity, and lacking cognitive clarity; thus taking us into former US Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld’s world of known unknowns and unknown unknowns.One local media house, on September 25, 2017, captioned “Gaming Authority has every right to ensure the integrity of individuals seeking casino licenses”, quoted Roysdale Forde, Chairman of the Gaming Authority, as making the following preposterous assertion: “The Guyana Constitution dictates that any company that is to be granted a casino licence must be deemed wholly ‘fit and proper’.”Deeper down the rabbit hole, we have a contorted article published on September 30, 2017, and captioned “SleepIn, directors asked to submit seven years of tax returns for casino application”. Reference was made in the article to Section 29A and Section 32(1) of the Gambling Prevention Act, stating that the Gaming Authority has the power to request directors’ income tax returns; then by an invisible or undocumented leap of logic, Forde notes that these amendments are contained in Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Act (AML/CFT Act).When did the Minister of Finance appoint the Gaming Authority as the supervising authority for casinos, betting shops and lotteries — an appointment required by the AML/CFT Act? Or can other statutory acts be inverted and subverted to provide legal permit for the Gaming Authority to utilize when assessing an application for casino licences?Amazingly, no specific section of the AML/CFT Act was referenced in the hazy article; only an admixture of half-truths, outright nonsense, and mumbo jumbo, which naturally lacked specificity due to vague references, resulting in an altogether misleading and miseducating article.Then we sally forth to October 10, 2017 for more breaking news that crystallized the lost-at-sea imagery of the Gaming Authority; in the local press, captioned “Lottery Company was advised not to operationalise gambling machines – Gaming Authority”, and in another article of the same date, captioned “Gambling machines at bars part of five-year Govt, lottery company deal”, it was revealed than an agreement (forget the meaningless detail of when the Gaming Authority knew of this deal/agreement) existing between the Guyana Lottery Commission and the Government of Guyana provides for slot machines at bars and restaurants. None of these “bars” have fifteen rooms, much less the one hundred and fifty rooms required by the Gambling Prevention Act that governs the Gaming Authority.In one of the articles, the enlightened or newly empowered Chairman, Forde, seems to have seen the agreement and revealed to the public that the agreement made provision for the right of the Guyana Lottery Company to operate video lottery terminals in Guyana. What takes the nugget is the claim by the Gaming Authority that they advised the Guyana Lottery Commission that the Commission should await the enactment of legislation for the operation of the video lottery terminals, when even Joe Sixpack could have informed the Gaming Authority that the name of the legislation is the Gambling Prevention Act, which happens to govern the Gaming Authority; and the Act explicitly requires that a new hotel with at least one hundred and fifty rooms needs be built before slot machines, or video lottery terminals, or casino machines can be operated in the hotel and casino; subject to the approval of the Gaming Authority.It seems to me that logical fallacy and circular reasoning are given full vent by the Gaming Authority, especially with the utterly and singularly most ridiculous claim that the Gambling Prevention Act (An oximorous name if ever there was one, considering the purpose of the Act is to licence gambling) does not provide sufficient legislation for the conditions under which casino machines or video lottery terminals can be operated in Guyana.To defend the indefensible is now the task ahead for the erudite and ineffable hirelings on the Gaming Authority Board. As the effort is made to justify the unjustifiable, we have subterfuge, obfuscation and quackery coming to the fore from the Gaming Authority during the period that the Gaming Authority is conducting its “review” of the casino licence application it received from Sleep-In International Hotel and Casino Inc. since April 4, 2017.After six months of reviewing the application, the Gaming Authority examinations have resulted in sterile clichés; birthed agreements, or outing of previously unknown agreements; and further revealed inattention and disdain for the Gambling Prevention Act. All this happens as hundreds of millions in investment sit idle at 288-289, Church Street Georgetown. Further adding to the satire, we have a related article, dated October 11, 2017, wherein Chairman Forde is captioned in the article as saying “I did not give Sleep-In’s application to Attorney- General (AG). Is Forde suggesting that another member or representative of the Gaming Authority is responsible for the sordid deed?The sad, gloomy and depressing truth is that the continued denial of the casino licence approval is part of a larger, ominous trend in Guyana!Sincerely,Nigel Hindslast_img read more


first_imgSCHOOL PRINCIPALS in Donegal have been told to cut holidays to make up for closures during the Big Chill.That means some Christmas holidays as well as mid-term breaks and Easter breaks will be cut back.This is bad news for parents and kids who may have already booked holidays next year. But the Department of Education is taking a tough stance and has asked schools to consider cutting their holidays short to make up for days lost because of the weather.The department has suggested schools could look at the possibility of returning early after Christmas or shortening the February mid-term break or the Easter holidays.It would mean the department changing current rules on school holidays and when they are taken.Dozens of schools are closed again across Donegal today with school buses also cancelled. DONEGAL SCHOOLS TOLD: CUT HOLIDAYS TO MAKE UP FOR SNOW CRISIS was last modified: December 21st, 2010 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more