Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 March 2017, 18:17 by Denis Chabrol
Carnival Casino-part of the Sleepin Hotel complex- has generated more than 300 jobs and is ready to provide a secure environment for gamblers, Proprietor Clifton Bacchus said Wednesday.
Bacchus, whose long-time friends include senior People’s Progressive Party (PPP) officials, categorically stated that no politician has any stake in the brand new US$20 million dollar hospitality and gaming facility on Church Street just off Albert Street, Georgetown. “No, not at all! I am (one) hundred percent certain no politician has any investment here. I have friends who are politicians and people would say what they want but that is not true,” he said when asked by Demerara Waves Online News.
He said Sleepin has its own armed security company and a room has been dedicated to monitor the entire casino through numerous surveillance cameras.
After the Gaming Authority turned down his application for casino license, he says he putting together all of the required paperwork before re-applying to that regulatory agency by weekend. He said he would be opening the doors of the Casino 10 days after receiving approval.
With numerous gaming machines and tables already set up and several hundred casino staff already trained and employed, Bacchus said he is confident that he would get the Gaming Authority’s green-light because in principle the Guyana government has already agreed to allow him to set up a casino. “I have a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Guyana and the MoU stipulates that I can go ahead and do all of these things and get it done and, as a Guyanese I am very optimistic that everything will go as planned,” he said when asked by Demerara Waves Online News.
Asked why he risked investing US$20 million, he said he is “very optimistic that it will grow and things will move forward so I am going ahead. In my field, in my business it is going good because I am fully booked for next month.” “I am very optimistic that things will work and tourism will move forward in this country,” he added.
Bacchus said the investment is being funded by financial institutions, his personal funds and Pasha Global Group, a Suriname-headquartered company that will be operating the Carnival Casino. He assured that clean money has been used to finance the investment. “Everything is properly recorded, all- the whole investment- has been properly filed I court, all the mortgages and so on,” he said.
On the issue of whether Carnival Casino would facilitate Guyanese residents gambling by merely booking a room to be in conformity with the law, Bacchus said “the law says if you are a foreigner or a guest at the hotel you could gamble so if they come and they go into the room as a guest obviously they could gamble.”
The hospitality and gaming concern has already trained and employed more than 300 persons. Several of them were trained at Pasha Global’s operations in Suriname and returned home. A company official said the casinos in Suriname have more advanced machines.
Several of Carnival Casino’s employees said they were happy for the employment opportunity, including a female re-migrant who said at first she was struggling to find a job to upkeep her four children. “I thank God for this one because you weren’t getting because, whether you had qualifications or not, you weren’t getting and I think it is something good that they are doing,” one employee told reporters.
Other employees said the Sleepin Hotel and Carnival Casino said they are happy that they are employed in the sector. Most of the employees are female.
The 14-year old Pasha Global Group is part of the vehicle importation company, Yokohama, which also operates in Suriname and Guyana. Pasha Group operates casinos in Suriname, Uganda, Bulgaria and Peru.