A prominent city businessman, Paul James, has taken the Princess Casino to court claiming that the popular facility breached its licence by allowing locals to enter its premises at Providence, East Bank Demerara.
James, through his lawyers, Euclin Gomes, Ganesh Hira and Manoj Narayan, is also asking the High Court to award damages in excess of $1M for assault and battery allegedly inflicted by Casino Manager, Muammer Princcioglu, on May 24th of this year.
Both the manager and the casino were named as defendants in the action filed recently.
According to the court documents, James wants a declaration by the court that the defendants breached the terms and conditions of its Casino Premises License granted under the Gambling Prevention Act which bars certain classes of persons from its premises.
James, in his claims, said he is the proprietor of Fix-It-Hardware, which is located on Main Street, Georgetown.
Under the laws, the defendants are prohibited from admitting into its casino anyone who is not a worker at the Princess Casino or a paying guest accommodated in a room of the Princess Hotel Guyana.
However, James said he has been a customer of the Princess Casino on numerous occasions and has played many games without any objection. He was even granted membership by the management.
However, that all changed on May 24th whilst James was not a paying guest accommodated in a room at the adjoining Princess Hotel, a facility under the same management.
James said he arrived around 02:00hrs at the casino where he provided his membership card to an employee and was permitted entry.
“About half an hour later, at or around 2:30 am, the Third Named Defendant (Muammer Princcioglu), approached the Plaintiff (James) and proceeded to unlawfully assault and forcefully evict the Plaintiff from the said casino, without any reason being offered by the Third Named Defendant for his conduct and behavior,” the businessman claimed in the court papers.
James said he did not agree or consent to the alleged assault and battery. As a matter of fact, he suffered loss and damage.
The businessman wanted the court to, among other things, make a declaration that the defendants breached “the provisions of the Gambling Prevention Act, Chapter 9:02 as amended by the Gambling Prevention (Amendment) Act 2007, Act No. 5 of 2007 by its admission into the Princess Casino of classes of persons not authorized by the provisions of the Gambling Prevention Act, Chapter 9:02 as amended by the Gambling Prevention (Amendment) Act 2007, Act No. 5 of 2007.”
James, in addition to the $1M, wants the defendants to pay his legal fees to the tune of $300,000.
It was only recently that charges were filed by police against the casino manager which alleged that he assaulted James. The manager was placed on $20,000 bail by the Magistrate’s Court.
The High Court case this week would have significance as the granting of the casino licence to Princess, the first one in Guyana, had been a hotly debated topic that divided the society. The political and religious bodies had largely been against it.
However, the then Bharrat Jagdeo administration had assured that the casino would have only been accessible to persons with foreign passports or who are staying as paying guests. The latter has been criticised as being a loophole that could allow locals, access.
However, the casino on its own has reportedly largely relaxed the regulations, allowing persons who were not even guests to enter. It is believed that a large percentage of its business is coming from locals.
The case by James, if proven, would raise questions over the role of the Gaming Authority, the body established back in 2007 that regulates how casinos are run in Guyana.
It has powers to determine the content of how applications are made for casinos; fees; and even set conditions for the restriction of licences.
Under the Gambling Prevention Act, only three licences can be issued in Guyana. Currently, only one casino is in existence and that is at the Princess Hotel and Casino, in Providence, East Bank Demerara.
Another licence has been earmarked for the Marriott-branded hotel that is currently under construction in Kingston and expected to be completed next year.
Casinos licences are restricted to hotels or resort complexes with a minimum of 150 rooms with only workers and guests allowed in.
A major duty of the Gaming Authority requires that it monitors operators of casinos to ensure proper records are kept for inspection, reportedly for transactions and visitors.
Jan 22, 2019Opener Sachin Singh struck a fine century to lead Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) to a 103-run victory over University of Guyana (UG), while Everest Cricket Club and Police registered wins when...
Jan 22, 2019
Jan 22, 2019
Jan 22, 2019
Jan 21, 2019
Jan 21, 2019
No country in the 21st century has descended so quickly into the pit of uselessness as Guyana. I admit there are a few Central... more
What will it take for the authorities to recognize that there is a serious problem at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]