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Suriname Casinos Scramble to Meet Deadline

25 February 2005

PARAMARIBO, Suriname – As reported by the Caribbean Net News: "With only a couple of days to go, casinos in Suriname are scrambling to meet a deadline set for February 28 or face closure by the authorities. License holders have till Monday to comply with the terms set out in their license and the relevant laws.

"If licenses granted by the Wijdenbosch administration in the period 1996-2000 are not operational by Monday, they become invalid. According the regulation casinos can only be operational if their activities are embedded in a fully functioning hotel operation.

"Most operating casinos currently don't meet this requirement and in August 2004 were given a six month period to comply. A one year extension, exclusively given by the president, is possible if casino owners could present plans, that they could meet the requirements within a year.

"…Friday last week the opening of the spanking new 'Princess Hotel & Casino' at the last minute was delayed after government officials advised that the hotel license would not be handed over since the building didn't meet all technical standards.

"…Vice-president Jules Ajodhia said Wednesday, that although casinos provide more then 2000 jobs, they should abide by the law and regulations. If they fail to comply, the necessary actions will be taken, the vice-president warned. Most of the casinos are managed by foreign companies who bring in their own foreign management staff, while the license holders are Surinamese citizens and most of the lower staff are local employees…"

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