Dec 02, 2020 News
Six years later…
Kaieteur News – “Finally” was the caption of a Facebook post made yesterday by the owner of Sleepin International Hotel, Clifton Bacchus after he was granted his Carnival’s Casino licence on Monday.
This achievement by the hotel did come easily. It took six years, one rejection, delays and at least two re-applications, just to become the second property in Guyana to own a casino licence. The first to own a licence was Ramada International Hotel and Casino located at Providence, East Bank Demerara.
As a result of the setbacks, Bacchus had told Kaieteur News in an earlier interview that he was forced to send back the slot machines and other equipment to its owners. He even fell into a trap with bank loans.
However, when the new People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC), administration took office in August, Sleepin saw its chance to re-apply for a third time to get its casino licence. A new Gaming Authority (GA) was formed and mere months later Sleepin Hotel and Casino Inc. can celebrate a victory in obtaining its long awaited Casino’s Operating Licence.
Speaking with Kaieteur News, yesterday, the hotelier said that a grand opening will be held sometime in the near future. Nevertheless, Bacchus pointed out that the casino is currently operating on a trial mode.
“We are currently doing a dry run of the place to look for bottlenecks and staff performances, et cetera,” Bacchus said.
Kaieteur had reported some years ago that during the former PPPC administration, which lost to the coalition in 2015, Sleepin Hotel and the Marriot hotel located in Kingston, were earmarked for casino licences.
However, the Granger administration when it took office had announced that it will be handling all casino applications as new ones and would review applications case-by-case.
On August 2, 2016, the hotel made an application to the Guyana Gaming Authority (GGA) for its Casino Operator’s and Casino Premises Licences, and also paid $9M as an application fee.
Three months later in November that application was thrown out by the then Guyana Gaming Authority (GGA) that was chaired by attorney-at-law Roysdale Forde. The GA had justified its decision by stating that it had unanimously found no evidence to determine the hotel’s qualification for the licences it had applied for.
Determined to have its casino operator’s licence, the hotel applied again in 2017 and paid another $9M application fee but the GGA never responded. This same year too, Sleepin came under scrutiny after a headline was published in the state owned newspaper, the Guyana Chronicle suggesting that its owner, Bacchus was associated with a Surinamese accused of money laundering.
The headline read, “Tracking the money…Sleepin boss, associate snared in money laundering probe…”
He later filed a libel suit against the media house and won in October 2020 and awarded the sum $27.5M.
Sleepin had also moved to the court seeking an order in early 2019 for the licences to be processed. That order was granted some months later by Justice Fidela Corbin-Lincoln. The order had compelled GGA to consider processing and determine an application for a Casino Licence for Sleepin International Hotel on or before February 8, 2020.
The licence was yet again pegged back by delays which was blamed on the post-elections conflict, COVID-19.
Jan 25, 2021Selected grounds across Guyana to be converted to Leisure and Recreational Parks Despite the ongoing challenges being presented by covid-19, Minister of Culture Youth and Sport (MCYS) Charles Ramson...
Jan 25, 2021
Jan 25, 2021
Jan 24, 2021
Jan 24, 2021
Jan 24, 2021
Kaieteur News – Once again, I lament the horrible levels of mediocrity in Guyanese journalism. I do not believe you... more
Kaieteur News – A new era of broadcasting has emerged but will a new breed of broadcasters arise. There is now a multiplicity... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, 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]