In early July, it was announced that Brad’s Gaming Company would be receiving a ten year lottery contract. The Opposition Party stated their concerns as it relates to this shortly after the announcement was made. Today, during the Sitting of the House of Representatives, the Area Representative for Cayo South, Julius Espat, stated that he had done further research into the matter, and had several concerns.
Julius Espat, Cayo South Area Representative: ” I have been monitoring this award of a contract given to Brads Gaming Company Madam Speaker and I did some investigation to be able to try to convince myself why is it that this contract was given exclusively to Brads. We are aware that the National Olympic Committee had made a proposal, I think somebody from Scratch had made a proposal and they were rejected so it’s a contract that they had before and the contract was recently renewed exclusively. So I went and I did some investigation as to who are the shareholders of Brads Gaming Company before the contract was awarded. It came out that there is a company called Good Lee Limited which is registered in St.Lucia Madam Speaker that has 6,000 shares in this company and there’s another shareholder with 4,000 shares called Kim Wai Chi and that person resides at the Farmers Market in Belize City Madam Speaker. So looking at how the company is worked Good Lee is majority shareholder before the contract was awarded. Why am I concerned Madam Speaker? It is important that when these contracts given especially when they are exclusive contracts that we be aware as to who are the shareholders and if this Good Lee Limited is registered in St.Lucia then the Prime Minister needs to answer to us who are the shareholders of Good Lee Limited. We would also like to know Madam Speaker who are the directors of Good Lee Limited. With that said Madam Speaker we want to know what is the relationship between Good Lee Limited and Quick Stop Personal Finance Center Limited Madam Speaker. We would like to know what is the relationship between Good Lee Limited and Creative Content Limited Madam Speaker. We would like to know what is the relationship between Good Lee Limited and Prudential Management Firm Madam Speaker and lastly Madam Speaker we would like to know what is the relationship between Good Lee Limited and Gregory Maurice Anwar Barrow.”
After the meeting, Prime Minister Dean Barrow rejected the insinuations made by Espat.
Rt.Hon Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize: “At no point before we privatized the Boledo was the government making any huge money off the lottery so to say that it’s a $500 million dollar contract is absolute nonsense that is outrageous. But how did the contract come about ? As when we first privatized it we invited people to tender for the contract, there were three applications I’m trying to recollect what the report was that came to Cabinet I may be wrong but I believe there were three applicants. I heard somebody in there talk about the Olympic Association indeed that was one of the applicants. Clearly the Lotteries Committee looked at the three applications, decided that Brads or the Brads concern was best suited, went to Finance as well there was that concurrence and so Brads was selected. That did come to Cabinet to see if we had any difficulty with it. Initially I had protested because one of the other two applicants was offering to pay rather more to government, it turned out that that applicant had been the beneficiary of another lotteries contract couldn’t pay his obligation still owed the government and clearly did not have the financial wherewithal for the tender- the Lotteries Committee that did the initial evaluation to be comfortable with it. So it struck us that the selection of Brads was a fair one in all the circumstances. In any event that decision of the Lotteries Committee had to be backstopped by the Contractor General. The Contractor General is if you know him an extremely meticulous individual he examined the contracts, the question of what the shareholding make up is of the company that Brads knows in the name of which Brads made the application perhaps the Contractor General went into that I’m not quite sure what that has to do with the merits of the bid that the company made but if it is of some relevance no doubt the Contractor General went into that. The fact is the Contractor General certified that the contract was entirely proper, I made the required report to the House, it was debated because there was an argument back and forth, it was examined by the members of the house I think it went to the Senate as well for examination I don’t see how at this stage now that matter can be revived in the House I’m sure that properly it can’t and that’s why the speaker ultimately had to shut down the member for Cayo South but if what he was trying to say is true the suggestion that my son is somehow concerned with one of the companies that make up the sort of umbrella group for which Brads was the representative I don’t know what that has to do with the price of rice.”
The contract will expire on March 31, 2030.