Marjorie Gordon reports

The company which was last week issued a license to operate another national lottery, Mahoe Gaming, is running into problems with the United States of America.

Nationwide News has confirmed that United States Ambassador to Kingston, Donald Tapia, has written the Government of Jamaica expressing concern about a Chinese-based firm, Genlot, being the service provider for Mahoe Gaming.

It’s understood that the US has national security concerns about the engagement between the new lottery licensee and the service provider

The letter from the US Ambassador was sent last week to National Security Minister, Dr. Horace Chang.

When contacted today by our news center, Ambassador Tapia said he’ll comment further on the issue later this week.

However, he confirmed that he wrote to the Government of Jamaica about the issue.

Meantime, Executive Director of the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission, BGLC, Vittus Evans on Nationwide: This morning confirmed that the Commission has issued a license to Mahoe Gaming which is moving to break Supreme Ventures hold on the multi-billion dollar industry.

Mr. Evans says he’s unaware of the letter written by Ambassador Tapia to the Government of Jamaica expressing concern about Mahoe Gaming’s service provider

Mr. Evans says the BGLC has not yet started it’s due diligence exercise on the service provider.

The BGLC Executive Director says he’s unable to say when the due diligence exercise on Genlot will be completed.

Marjorie Gordon for Nationwide News.

In the meantime, Mr. Evans revealed that the BGLC issued the new lottery license without conducting a feasibility study on the potential impact on Government revenue.

In 2011, then Finance Minister Audley Shaw had reportedly advised the BGLC that it should consult Cabinet prior to issuing a new license in the lottery sector which the Government depends on for significant revenue.

Mr. Evans says no such request was made by the current portfolio Minister, Dr. Nigel Clarke, regarding the Mahoe Gaming application.

The BGLC Executive Director is arguing that the Commission had no choice but to issue the license.

Vittus Evans, BGLC Executive Director speaking this morning with Kalilah Reynolds and Abka Fitz-Henley.