Martin Lycka – Regulatory high temperatures cancel industry’s ‘silly season’ August 11, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Share Advertising Association moves against GRH APPG radical reforms June 16, 2020 Related Articles Submit BGC: GRG APPG approach will only serve the black market June 16, 2020 Britain’s bookmakers are demanding an urgent inquiry into a new report by the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) All- Party Parliamentary Group which is expected to call for a £2 per spin maximum stake to be imposed on all FOBTs when it is published this morning.The Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) has criticised the report as ‘deeply flawed’ and said it had been funded by commercial rivals of Britain’s bookmakers and warned such a move would be a ‘hammer blow’ to High Street bookmakers and threaten thousands of jobs.The ABB has now demanded an immediate inquiry by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards into the FOBTs All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) which it has condemned as a “front for vested commercial interests” stating there is no evidence that a reduction in stake size would decrease the risk of problem gambling.Speaking ahead of the publication of the APPG report, ABB CEO Malcom George said: “This is a deeply flawed report funded by vested interests who would directly benefit if its recommendations are ever implemented. The report is the view of a tiny group of anti-betting shop MPs. This group has been financed by those with interests in the casino, arcade and pub industries.“We strongly believe that the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards should urgently investigate this All-Party Parliamentary Group. This group of MPs has operated in secrecy, provided no transcripts of the evidence given to their meetings and operated throughout behind closed doors away from public scrutiny.“Britain’s bookmakers employ more than 43,000 staff and contribute over £1 billion a year in taxes. But, betting shops are already closing at the rate of more than 100 a year and if the findings of this rigged report are implemented, it could spell the beginning of the end for the High Street bookmaker.”The Group is funded by coin-op trade association BACTA, casino & coin-op machine manufacturer Novomatic, pubs operator JD Wetherspoon, arcade operator Praesepe, The Hippodrome Casino, LM Consulting and the Campaign for Fairer Gambling. The ABB argues that all these bodies are in competing gaming sectors or have links to the coin-op and casino sectors and as such ask questions about the objectivity of the report.Questioning the integrity of MPs is a bold lobbying move from the ABB, but the association has already described the APPG as a ‘kangaroo court’ and is clearly incensed at the anti-FOBT agenda that it perceives the group has followed from the outset. Whether the other politicians will agree with this charge remains to be seen.
Assassination claim…as businessman denies paying to kill PresidentPolice Commissioner Seelall Persaud has told the Commission of Inquiry into the alleged plot to assassinate President David Granger that he did not order the release of the alleged mastermind; rather, he merely gave the detective his suggestion following an unrequested briefing.“I was making a suggestion; I was giving an opinion. It wasn’t my intention to ensure he [Nizam Khan] go on bail. I had a concern with how the policy of the Force was being implemented,” he told the CoI.On March 29, Andrif Gillard reported to the Police that he was offered $7 million by his neighbour, Nizam Khan, to assassinate the President.Inspector Prem Narine last week testified that he received a call from Commissioner Persaud instructing him to place Nizam, his brother Imran, and Gillard on bail. Imran and Gillard were arrested on the same night allegedly for disorderly behaviour and threatening language respectively. Narine told the Commission that, had it not been for Persaud’s intervention, he would not have sent the Khan brothers away.Commissioner Persaud explained that he had received from Imran Khan a call informing him that he has been placed on $20,000 bail for disorderly behaviour, but he had no money to pay the bail.He said the Guyana Police Force has a policy to not hold anyone for longer than necessary, and not for minor offences like the one Imran was charged for, the Force processes and releases on bail at the earliest time possible.Persaud revealed that, during a cellphone call, he suggested that Imran Khan be sent on his own recognisance and Nizam Khan be placed on bail. However, he said, had that course of action been taken, he would have been breaching a policy of the Force and he would have been disciplined.He said that prior to calling Narine, he tried to calling Crime Chief Wendell Blanum and Head of the Major Crimes Unit, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mitchell Caesar, but those attempts were unsuccessful.“I told him it is wrong to put someone in custody who hasn’t committed any breach of the law; but when a senior rank makes a suggestion, it is the culture of the Force to carry it out. If he takes that as instructions I wouldn’t be surprised, but the expectation was that he would factor that into his own judgement,” Persaud related.Persaud said his friendship with Imran Khan does not extend into any business relations, and for the record, he has no private or joint business ventures with Khan.“It’s not unlike any of the other friendships I have. I’ve known him since 2004, when I was appointed the Divisional Detective Officer in ‘A’ Division,” he said.Persaud later admitted that, as Police Commissioner, he had approved a gun licence upgrade for Khan, from a 9mm handgun to a .45 pistol.CoI Chairman Paul Slowe had questioned the licensing of a .45 calibre handgun, since he said he is unaware that the Police allocate that calibre for civilian use. Persaud also told the Commission that it was rather unfortunate that Assistant Commissioner David Ramnarine had testified that a thorough investigation was not done. “It’s quite contrary to that…I think a thorough investigation was done,” he explained. He said doubts were expressed on the credibility of Gillard’s statement, and evidence was absent in the case. Persaud added that he supports the position that Gillard be charged for providing the Police with false information.$20,000 bailAlleged mastermind of the plot to assassinate President David Granger, Nizam Khan, said he was not on speaking terms with his accuser, Gillard, during the period mid-2014 to 2016, and as such he could not have made the offer Gillard is alleging.Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud testifying at the CoIKhan told the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) that Gillard never approached him to borrow $6M, and that he did not have a face-to-face interaction with his accuser until late 2016. He recalled that in the past he had loaned Gillard $1M and was repaid $500,000, but Gillard had failed to repay the rest. He added that Gillard had asked to be loaned $800,000 to start a taxi service, and had promised to repay him in installments. Khan recounted that on March 29, three officers came to his home, told him about the allegation and requested to search his premises, and he agreed. The search yielded nothing illegal, but Khan was taken into custody and transported to the CID, where he was questioned.Khan related that he gave his statement and observed his brother at the station. He said that after giving his statement, he was placed to sit on bench, and was later told that he was on $20,000 bail. However, the 38-year-old businessman said, he does not know who, when or where bail was posted for him.He also denied allegations of threatening to cripple Gillard, and of stealing two radio sets from him.Back in 2015, Nizam Khan was shot during a robbery, and subsequently shot and killed his robber. He also caused four officers to be kicked out of the Guyana Police Force for professional misconduct. They were all convicted in the Magistrates Courts.The final report of the COI is expected to be handed over to the President on August 18.