Categorized | National News

Web Shop Licenses Awarded

Minister responsible for Gaming Obie Wilchcombe announced yesterday that the government has awarded eight companies with web shop licenses.

The companies met their burden of proof and on that basis they were awarded with a Conditional Gaming House Operator License.

Wilchcombe said this is the next and important stage in interactive gaming in The Bahamas.

The eight companies awarded licenses were FML Group of Companies Limited (FML Web Shop), GLK Limited (A Sure Win), Jarol Investments Limited (Chances Games), Paradise Games Bahamas Limited (Paradise Games), Playtech Systems Limited (Island Luck), TIG Investments Limited (Percy’s at the Island Game), The Four Point Group (Asue Draw + Spin) and Bahama Dreams Web Cafe Limited (Bahama Dreams).

According to Wilchcombe, the successful applicants must now complete a series of regulatory requirements before receiving a plenary Gaming House Operator License.

On October 19, 2015 a notice of an award or disqualification to each applicant, pursuant to Section 85(22) of the Gaming Act will be given.

On November 2, 2015 the Statement of Condition review period ends and the Gaming House Operator Conditional Licenses will be issued by the Gaming Board under Section 32(5) of the Gaming Act.

The companies, upon the issuance of their license, will be responsible for the Annual License and Monitoring Fees, which includes an operator fee of $250,000, a premises fee of 2,000 (per premises) and an agent fee of $1,000 (per agent).

The closure date for the disqualified applicant is set for October 26, 2015.

Earlier this year, web shop owners were invited to participate in a Request for Proposal process for Gaming House Operator Licenses.

Wilchcombe said nine responses to the RFP were received and there were no objections.

“Upon receipt of these responses the Gaming Board, by and through its newly formed Intelligence, Investigations and Enforcement (IIE) Department, commenced the conduct of a probity investigation to determine each applicant’s suitability, based upon its integrity, character, reputation, prior conduct, habits, associations, financial stability, criminal record, competence and experience to hold a Gaming House Operator License,” Wilchombe said.

He explained that the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Gaming Board’s IIE Special Agents conducted an exhaustive background investigation designed to ensure that any person awarded an opportunity to participate in the regularized gaming sector meets the qualification standards outlined in Section 24 of the Gaming Act.

In addition, the investigation ensured that the companies awarded licenses are able to establish that they are not disqualified for licensure based upon acts or events under Sections 25 and 26 of the Gaming Act.

Wilchombe further explained that in order to ensure a uniform, objective and measurable approach to licensure, the Gaming Act, with the RFP process, identified critical standards and benchmarks that related to each applicant’s qualification and eligibility to hold a Gaming House Operator License.

Also attributes central to the current and prospective financial viability of the applicants, and, as corollary, to their capacity to create and maintain employment and to generate tax revenue were identified.

The eligibility standards were based upon qualification, the probity investigation, Bahamian ownership, financial stability, compliant server location, compliance with the December 2014 Affidavit on Premises and Agents and sufficiency of contributions required by the Gaming Act.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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