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U.S. company closes Suriname casino operations

U.S. gaming company Rotte & Wagering Solutions Inc. announced Friday that it is in the process of terminating all of the company's casino operations in Suriname.

The decision was made by the board of directors, and on February 21, 2005, it was announced that the company had signed an agreement to sell its wholly owned subsidiary, which operates a small casino at the Golden Tulip Casino Hotel in Paramaribo, for US$500,000.

The company's principal operations in Suriname were conducted through its subsidiary Suriname Leisure Company (SLC) at the Plaza Hotel in Parramaribo until 31 December 2004. SLC is a 50 joint venture with Handelmaatschappij of Suriname Company Pabo, which operated Suriname Palace Casino.

The partners became bitter over financial differences. On January 1, 2005, the Palace Casino was evicted from the building inside the Plaza Hotel in Parramaribo, and had to shut down all operations. Suriname Court ruled that the plaintiff in the eviction proceedings who took ownership of the Plaza Hotel in the foreclosure proceedings was not bound by SLC's existing lease. The lease was 15 years.

Administrative fees paid to Dorsett Hotels & Resorts, Inc. to manage the operation of the Palace casino and its operations have historically accounted for a significant portion of the U.S. gaming company's recent operations and cash flow

An eviction appeal to restore the Palace casino to the building inside the Plaza Hotel and, if successful, restore the lease is still pending, but the board concluded that termination of operations is in the company's best interest because the company's extensive efforts to identify and secure an appropriate alternative site in Suriname have not been successful.

Meanwhile, Rotte & Wagering Solutions delayed the preparation of its financial statements and filing of its quarterly report for the period ended December 31, 2004 to properly reflect the Board's decision to terminate Suriname's business in its financial statements.

The move to shut down all operations in Suriname comes as a complete surprise to business partner Gautam Favo. Speaking to Caribbean Net News, Suriname's businessman said he was very surprised because he seized all of the casino's possessions during the proceedings.

Efforts to take sides with Palace casinos were in vain. Relations between the partners deteriorated when Pabo's Handelmatschapiz accused U.S. casino executives of holding back profits. Pabo's Handelmatschapiz, which owns the casino license, later withdrew its license for the joint venture.

In December 2005, authorities ordered the Palace Casino to suspend all activities until it was able to present a valid license. Since last week, casino license holders in Suriname have been busy meeting the government deadline. If license holders do not get their licenses by Monday, Feb. 28, 2005, the license will be invalidated.
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Friday, February 9, 2024
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