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Oct 9, 2019

Will Lottery Contract Be Automatically Renewed for Brads?

In 2009, Brads Gaming Company Limited owned by Kim Jen Chee was granted a management contract to manage the lottery programme which rakes in millions of dollars in administrative fees and taxes to G.O.B. The privatization increased government’s take and while Brad’s share is not known, it is surely a pretty sum. There is now word that the thinking in Belmopan is to move to an automatic approval of the contract and that has been causing some unease and not sitting well in certain sectors. Today, former COLA president Geovanni Brackett issued a release questioning the integrity of the proposed renewal and making the comparison to the contract granted to the former City Administrator, Candice Miller, within days of an election.

 

Geovanni Brackett

Geovanni Brackett, Concerned Citizen

“What my press release is saying is that I completely object as a citizen and this is in consultation with a group of people that have been speaking with me who have heard the layman person and different individuals who have concerns about the way the boledo lottery is being conducted right now. So what happen is that I am objecting to any automatic renewal. So far, Duane, we have not been given an actual account of how much money is the boledo industry, Brads is making. We need to know how much the government is making and how much Brads is making so we can know if this is actually a fair share. Moreover, there have been glitches over the years with the boledo system. Back in 2013, there was an issue with a Sunday lottery where one of the chambers, the ball failed to come up and they had to manually pick the ball. In other instance, I think in 2017, there was a hacking within the system and it caused quite a controversy. We know that the system currently isn’t perfect. This is no allegation against the company saying there is anything in malfeasance; however, we must say that there is credible…we all know that the Belizean public ha many questions. I think that there needs to be an audit of the system; I think that the system needs to be revamped and relooked at and this all needs to happen before any consideration of a renewal of the current status quo. And considering, what is important here Duane is the fact that this government may be in its last term. And just like what we have seen with the Candice Miller issue, when an administration goes ahead arbitrarily giving out a contract assuming that they will win in power, it causes controversy and so I don’t think that the next administration—whether it’s a P.U.P. or U.D.P.—should be hand tied behind their backs and can’t do anything with a contract that might turn out to not be the best fit for the Belizean public.”


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