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Jul 24, 2020

P.U.P. Strongly Criticizes Boledo Contract Being Awarded to Brads

John Briceño

Back to the House and the lottery business.  Brads Gaming Group, a majority of whose shares are owned by an offshore company registered in Saint Lucia, has been awarded another ten-year contract to operate the nightly Boledo, as well as the Sunday Lottery Draw, in Belize.  The contract has stirred much controversy because the company’s local face is actually its minority shareholder and there are speculations that the true owner may be someone very familiar to the prime minister.  Much to the opposition leader’s chagrin, the matter was tabled in the house this morning under what is known in parliamentary terms as negative resolution, meaning that it was not up for the debate.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“What is most cowardly is the way this has been presented in the National Assembly.  It was presented as a paper for negative resolution, meaning, in effect that the prime minister has set this in the house, it has been tabled and nobody can speak about it, nobody can debate it.  In effect, he’s not giving one middle finger, but two middle fingers to the people of this country where he is refusing to have an open debate on a contract that has created a lot of controversy, a contract that this company has potential revenues of over five hundred million dollars over the life of the contract, for ten years.  When you are looking quickly at the contract you see that they are even giving a renewal clause that one year before the contract is in all they have to do is give them notice to say we want to renew it so they could get it for another ten years.  So, in effect, this company can get it for twenty years.  So we have grave concerns about how this has been handled.  We have contracts over five million dollars that come to be debated here; here now is one where the government is signing off the Belize Boledo to a private company with no debate, no discussions, nothing.  So I want to, in effect, inform the government that we will be taking legal action, we’re going to have our legal advisors to take a look at this and see whether this was legal or not, but also I could assure you that once we get into government we are going to go through this contract.  So I am alerting Mr. Brads and his partners to be careful how much money they want to give to the U.D.P. because they are going to lose because this is not going to be left the way it has been set or structured by the U.D.P. government.  We got a copy of the ownership of the company, the shares, and you see that Brads has forty percent or four thousand shares and then there’s a company by the name of Goodly had six thousand shares.  So in effect, Goodly owns sixty percent of the Belize Boledo.  What makes it even more concerning or damning is that this is an offshore company registered in St. Lucia.  Now the prime minister has been the one that has always in his fights with Mr. Ashcroft, saying that when he sees an offshore company he wants to see who are the true beneficiaries.  This very same prime minister now is allowing the Belize Boledo to be contracted out to a company that’s registered offshore and we don’t know who are the owners.   There’s a lot of speculation that somebody that is very close to the prime minister is the person behind Goodly and maybe the prime minister needs to come clean and say or to state whether he knows who are the beneficiaries of Goodly.”


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