The Roaring Creek Village held an important meeting yesterday to decide the way forward as it relates to gambling in that community. Sometime within the tenure of the former chairman of Roaring Creek, a businessman was authorized to open a gambling center in the community, that is at Lucky Entertainment Center. But with the recent spate of crime, the village leaders decided to pull the plug on the gaming machines. That did not sit well with some including of course the business owner. That’s what lead to the meeting yesterday which was attended by about 100 community residents.
“The opinions that were that people were not for the casinos in the community. Everyone that was at the meeting voted against the casino being operated in our community. It was a unanimous vote. We have petitions here that proved that people voted strongly against it . That’s the final decision that came out of the meeting, that Roaring Creek village is saying no to the Casinos .”
Emanuel Pech – Plus TV Journalist
“To get a license for the casino, you need the signature of the chairman. With this decision in place, the moratorium stands?”
“Without my signature, the business legally cant legally be open and the moratorium stands. We shall not be having no new casinos in our community nor no existing casino will be operating in our community. “
But while the Community has made their decision the business owners can still appeal to the Minister of Trade and Investment, to still have their license approved. According to the Gaming Control Act chapter 152, revised edition 2000 to 2003, under section 8 subsection 2, quote, “Any person who is aggrieved by the decision of the Board to revoke his licence may appeal to the Minister and the decision of the Minister thereon shall be final.” In September of last year, that act was amended and it gave the gaming control board more supervisory powers over, to quote, “provide for greater transparency in relation to an applicant for a gaming licence; to ensure that the persons connected with gaming operations are fit and proper persons.” That means that should the owner of the gaming machines appeal to the Minister the Minister will appoint an independent committee to have the final say. But the Roaring Creek Community are not taking any chances.
“For anyone who did not have the chance to make it to the meeting yesterday, I have petitions at my home and you guys can feel free to come and sign the petition. If it should happen that they override our decision, myself along with the churches and the residents of the community, we will stand strong and we will not falter. “
Julius Espat is the duly elected representative of that community. He took part in the meeting and commended the chairman for taking the matter before the people.
” The reality that we have is that Roaring Creek has been getting a negative pr recently with all the crimes. the villagers are concerned. The Christian community has come together along with the chairman of the village. Basically, the meeting was to have the community express themselves as to what they wanted. Too long leaders tend to make decisions on their own believing that they are speaking out on behalf of people. I think that the movement that we are doing in Cayo South is the opposite. We are empowering people for them to make decisions that we can rely on and I believe that is what the chairman did. I don’t think that you can get a better decision making process than to have the participation of your community. That is what showed up yesterday. The moratorium is not specifically for Roaring Creek, They do not want any gambling establishments in their community right now. they are not saying that it is permanent but right now they do not want it because they want to be able to minimize the crime and negative influences to their children. I thing that is something that we have to respect.”
And so gambling is banned from the village of Roaring Creek as long as the moratorium stands.