NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A Supreme Court judge has ordered web shop operator Bet Vegas cease its operations and shut down all of its facilities no later than April 30.
The ruling handed down by Justice Indra Charles signals the end of a more than four-year legal battle since Bet Vegas was denied a license and ordered to close by the Gaming Board in 2015.
The order, stamped January 27, read: “Cease operations and that all unlicensed gaming facilities are to be closed not later than April 30th 2020 in accordance with the cessation/closure notice issued by the Gaming Board on October 19th 2015.”
BVC Holdings Ltd, trading as Bet Vegas Casino had challenged the decision of then Minister Responsible for Gaming Obie Wilchcombe over his refusal to grant a Gaming House Operators license.
Since 2015, Bet Vegas and its CEO Anthony Brown have been fighting that decision which Brown has repeatedly claimed was ‘unfair” and a “slap in the face”.
At the time, Wilchcombe said Bet Vegas had 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.”
Wilchcombe furthered that by virtue of its disqualification, Bet Vegas had also been found lacking the “capacity to create and maintain employment and generate tax revenue”.
The eight companies that had received a conditional web shop license were the FML Group of Companies trading as (t/a) FNM Webshop; GLK Ltd t/a A Sure Win; Jarol Investments t/a Chances Games; Paradise Games Bahamas t/a Paradise Games; Playtech Systems t/a Island Luck; T.I.G Investments Ltd t/a Percy’s at The Island Game; The Four Point Group Trading t/a Asue Draw + Spin; and Bahama Dream Web Café t/a Bahama Dreams.
Paving the way for industry regulation, operators had to meet several standards, including Bahamian ownership, financial stability, compliant server location, and sufficiency of contributions required by the Gaming Act 2014.