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Guyana passes casino bill

23 January 2007

GUYANA – As reported by the Stabroek News: "The government last night used its majority to pass the contentious bill which will legalise casino gambling.

"After two days of fierce debate featuring 24 speakers, the Gambling Prevention (Amendment) Bill 2006 was taken through its second and third readings and passed on votes of 35 to 26 after a division was called on each reading.

"…According to the amendment Bill, casino licences may be issued to a new hotel or resort complex with a minimum of 150 rooms and holding a minimum rating prescribed by regulations. It also provides for the establishment of a Gaming Authority, which may issue to any person, subject to any condition it thinks fit, a casino premises licence authorizing any place to be operated as a casino; a casino operator's licence authorising the person to operate a casino. The Bill also says that no more than three casino premises licences may be issued in respect of any one of the ten administrative regions.

"…It is believed that the Bill has been rushed through Parliament to allow for Buddy's International Hotel and Resort to provide casino gaming facilities for guests who would be staying at the hotel over the period that Guyana would be hosting the Super Eight matches of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket World Cup 2007 championship starting on March 28…"

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