Gambling News Online

Friday, January 26, 2007

Guyana Passes Hotel Gambling Bill

Guyana's Parliament has approved limited casino gambling in some hotels that are scheduled to open ahead of this year's cricket World Cup. The proposal, which passed late Monday, prompted street marches last week by the political opposition and religious groups who argue it will encourage vice and provide new opportunities for organized crime. "We have been condemned but we believe that history will absolve us," Interior Minister Clement Rohee said of protests from opposition benches in Guyana's 65-member Parliament.

Theruling party said the bill, backed by President Bharrat Jagdeo, was necessary to help hoteliers recoup investments made ahead of the World Cup. As many as 100,000 visitors are expected in the region for the tournament, which runs from March 13 to April 28, with matches in Guyana and eight other Caribbean countries. The legislation provides for up to 30 gambling licenses in the South American country. No hotels currently in Guyana would meet the conditions for a license -- which include having a minimum 250 rooms -- but two high-end hotels under construction in the capital of Georgetown near a new cricket stadium would be eligible.

Only foreigners would be permitted to wager in the yet-to-be-built hotels. Deborah Backer, a lawmaker for the main opposition People's National Congress, said the government had not offered candid estimates of license costs and other information. "We oppose it on religious and moral grounds," she said, adding that the country's "fragile security sector" may not be able to deal with crime that could accompany casino gambling rooms.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home