BY MPHO KELEBOGE
Moonlite Casino is not giving up on its plans to move to an up market location despite being denied relocation to Gaborone’s Central Business District (CBD).
The Gambling authority challenged Moonlite’s relocation earlier this year at the Court of Appeal which then ruled in the authority’s favour.
In a notice dated,7th December 2018,Moonlite Casino made an application seeking to relocate from Gaborone Hotel at Lot 37799 to Plot 70665,Unit 316,1st floor, phase 2 Airport Junction ,Gaborone.
Moonlite is trying its providence for the second time as evidence by a notice dated 07th December marked ”Notice of Application for transfer of Casino License”
“It reads notice is hereby given that Moonlite Investment (PTY)Pty t/a Moonlite casino intends to apply for the transfer of a casino license from Gaborone Hotel to Phase 2 Airport Junction any person who wishes to object to the application shall notify the Authority in writing of such objection and the grounds of that objection within 30 days of the last publication of the notification, ”said Gambling Authority.
The Authority further said notice is given that the non-confidential information pertaining to the application shall be open for public inspection by interested persons.
It remains to be seen if Gambling Authority will play its game closer to their chest to deny Moonlite an opportunity to move to an upmarket area.
According to court records, early this year, Moonlite suffered a big blow after the Court of Appeal ruled against them in their application to be awarded a Casino license to operate from Gaborone Bus rank to Central Business District. (CBD) (itowers Lot 54368)
It was on the 2nd April 2013 when Moonlite casino wrote a letter to the Board expressing an intention to seek relocation of its Casino business from Gaborone Hotel premises to the more up market Gaborone Central Business District (CBD)
But the authority refused to award the license forcing the Casino to approach Minister responsible Vincent Seretse to assist but for no avail and the Casino officials then approached High Court and Judge Zein Kebonang ruled in their favour.
But aggrieved by Justice Kebonang of the High Court, the Chairman of the Gambling Authority represented by the Attorney General took the matter to the CoA challenging his decision to be in favour of Moonlite.
In his judgment, Justice Lesetedi said the contention that Moonlite had substantially complied with the requirements of the Board was in the circumstances not valid.
“The record shows clearly that Moonlite Casino had at all material times prior to the 30th of March 2016 not complied with the requirements regarding the submission of an approval of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).It therefore could not assert a legal right to be awarded a licence for the premises it had applied to relocate to.”said Lesetedi
Judge Lesetedi said according to the minutes between the Board and Moonlite casino, item 7.10 of the Board minutes also recorded that the Board informed Moonlite Casino that it was unable to make a conclusive decision on the application because an approved EIA of the premises was not submitted and that Moonlite Casino did not indicate which other business would operate from the premises.
Lesetedi slammed at Moonlite silence over the minutes it has initially complained arguing that had the attack on the minutes had any serious basis it would have been contained in the founding affidavit due to its seriousness basis and purposively having been made to representatives of Moonlite Casino at the meeting of the 23th of March 2016.
“It did not require the production of that meeting for Moonlite Casino to be aware of it. It was for the respondent (Moonlite Casino) to make out its case and to demonstrate that on material issues the minutes of the Board were in conflict with what it took place at the meeting of the 23th March 2016.Moolite casino dismally failed and the Board’s version stood to be accepted as reflective of what transpired at that meeting, ”said the judge
It remains to be seen if Moonlite will also comply with the EIA as required by the Gambling authority which appeared to have been its challenge to move to Masa upmarket building.