PSC throws support behind controversial Carnival Casino
The Private Sector Commission (PSC) is urging the Government to move ahead with the process of granting a casino licence to the controversial Carnival Casino at the Sleepin Hotel complex.
During a visit to the establishment today, Chairman of the PSC, Eddie Boyer noted that the business will encourage other persons to invest in Guyana.
But Proprietor of the Carnival Casino, located on Church Street, Georgetown, Clifton Bacchus expressed his frustration that his business, after two years, cannot begin operation.
Following a meeting with the PSC officials today, he noted that the last document requested by the Gaming Authority was renewed financial statement. This he said was submitted approximately one month ago.
“I am frustrated that is after two years, we not moving forward even though the machines are in place, everything in place, two years pass and nothing is happening with the license and I am very frustrated,” Bacchus told the media.
Meanwhile, Boyer told reporters that the establishment will employ a number of Guyanese, adding that employment is one of the major focuses of the private sector.
“We’re speaking about local content, this is local content, let us get it rolling. We need to make sure that all of these things are working, that this man’s investment is paying back and things are happening. Can’t see investment die like this,” the PSC Chairman said.
This view was also shared by Trade and Investment Chair of the PSC, Deodat Indar who noted that the prospering of such investments will encourage other investors to contribute to the economy.
“If we’re going to tell investors come invest in Guyana, we must lead by example. I also understand that there is an MoU between this Sleep-in Hotel, Casino and the Government and we always speak about the sanctity of contracts and government and we expect that that is adhered to and respected,” Indar said.
Completed in 2016, the hospitality and gaming facility; Carnival Casino, cost some US$20 million.
The applications for a casino licence was denied by the Gaming Authority because Bacchus failed to provide proof of “its financial soundness and capability,” which was critical for approval.
The Proprietor has since been putting together additional paperwork requested. Bacchus had said he submitted documents to the Gaming Authority that establish the source of his financing including loans from local commercial banks secured by mortgages, along with monies from an overseas investor secured by loan agreements and mortgages.
Bacchus, who has been in the local hotel industry for over 15 years, has already employed and trained some 300 Guyanese to staff the new branch.
But since its opening is in limbo, those persons were forced to seek alternative employment.