Lawlessness in Guyana seems to be the order of the day in spite of the new Government’s commitment to aggressively pursue corruption in all its forms. I look forward to the day when the State Asset Recovery Bill is passed so that action can be taken against the many.
I was shocked to read Clifton Bacchus’s defence of his potential Casino on Church Street which is situated next to a Mosque and two Churches.
His first argument shows the lack of morality that is a feature of many so-called businessmen in Guyana.
After indicating he has employed 50 people for the last four years, he states the project enjoys a Memorandum of Understanding with the previous Government for “the grant of certain facilities, including a casino’s license”. Can Bacchus state whom in the last Government his partners, if any, in this Casino.
If there are any, then this is political malfeasance similar to the Pradoville 2 case which is at the DPP and may well be soon heading to Court.
Can Bacchus state who signed the MoU on behalf of the Government?
Additionally, is the hotel being built just to obtain a Casino license given low occupancy rates of hotels in Guyana? Hopefully Bacchus knows that with FATF and the AML/CFT Bill, and the current National Risk Assessment currently underway, the Gaming Board in Guyana will have to address new international requirements for any new Casino license holders.
Remember, a MoU is not a license.
Regardless of Bacchus’s letter, here are some facts why a license should be given to this hotel.
The Marriott was scheduled to cost US$43 million. Instead of US$43 million, the Marriott cost a whopping US$98 million. The only way the Marriott will ever be profitable in Guyana is if it has a casino license. The Marriott will forever be a burden on the People and Government of Guyana without a Casino so that profits from the Casino can be used to cover the debt created by the Marriott.
Why would any sane government, much less Government in Guyana dedicated to transparency, stolen assets recovery, the stopping of money laundering and other corrupt practices, grant a license to a casino masquerading as a hotel, when it has a massive Marriott problem created by the same government that gave Bacchus a so-called MoU.
This building at Oronoque and Church Street, is in a residential area. There is no parking. So to compare the Casino at the Princess Hotel with this new building is outright scampishness. The Marriott and the Princess had to have plans for parking in their upfront designs. Why wasn’t this done for this Church Street Hotel/Casino. This alone would have disqualified the Casino on Church Street. This fish smells bad.