Guyana Lottery Company unveils $84 million ‘BLAST’ Gaming Centre
By Akeem Greene
Colourful. Giving back to the country. Great ambience.
Those were just some of the opinions expressed by the audience at the opening of Guyana Lottery Company’s (GLC) first Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) and Gaming Centre, which comes under the brand ‘BLAST’.
The spanking new G$84 million gaming centre, located at Mandela Avenue, East Ruimveldt, Georgetown, was officially opened on Friday afternoon.
It houses a total of 35 VLT machines, 14 on the ground floor and 21 on the upper floor. The ground floor also houses a Virtual Gaming room under the Let’s Bet Sports brand.
GLC’s General Manager, Tracey Lewis, described the centre as a “one-stop-shop” as persons can also purchase Lottery tickets and food and beverages will also be on sale.
“Remember that this is our own, this is Guyanese and every ticket that is purchased will benefit our Guyana,” Lewis conveyed.
Speaking to News Room exclusively on the sidelines, Lewis indicated that about 15 Guyanese are employed at the facility, most of whom are from the community.
“We really wanted to ensure that we are a part of this community so why not give back to them and ensure they become employed…so when we picked this building we really made an effort to ensure that when we were recruiting, it was from within this community.”
There are 25 gaming rooms countywide- from Berbice to Port Kaituma and Kwakwani to Lethem- and the General Manager explained that they saturated those areas and given it is a growing brand, there is a need to expand.
“Sport is a growing phenomenon; people like to bet on their favourite teams which is also growing so what more than to have all of our products in one place.”
It was further revealed the GLC is looking to open two more centres, one of which will be established before year-end.
Most importantly, the company plans to be very sensitive about gaming and gambling, and will ensure “persons don’t sit at a machines all day” since the machine will force one to cash out and come back a next day and they will be in-house protocols to ensure that persons are not in the facility every day.
The General Manager reminded persons must be 18 years and older to play, know their limit, and play within it.
Let’s Bet Sports Brand Ambassador, Rawle Toney explained that since they launched the brand two years ago, the objective was to ensure it remains genuinely Guyanese and they have been giving back to nearly all sport disciplines in Guyana.
Toney said at the centre they wanted to pay homage to Guyanese sportsmen while they are still alive and portraits of cricketer Steven Jacobs and footballer Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson have been mounted. Richardson was on hand to autograph his portrait.
Due to social distancing rules, only about 60 persons will be allowed in the venue at any given time. The centre would be opened seven days a week, from 10:00h to 21:30h.
COVID-19 tips have been placed on all of the VLTs.