Communiqué – Licence for Horse Racing Organiser – inside news :

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Communiqué – Licence for Horse Racing Organiser

1. The Gambling Regulatory Authority (the “Authority”) has decided to issue this communiqué in a spirit of transparency to provide an update on the horse-racing organiser licence for 2021 in the light of certain reports in the public domain.

2. The Mauritius Turf Club (the “MTC”), which has traditionally operated as the horse-racing organiser, is an association and no longer authorised to hold a licence under the law, since only a public company may now be licensed.

3. On 18th February 2021, an application for a horse-racing organiser licence was made to the Authority by MTC Sports and Leisure Limited (“MTCSL”), a public company which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the MTC.

4. The new board of MTCSL was not constituted at the time of application. Elections were held for administrators of the MTC on 5 March 2021. The Authority was informed by the MTC, 5 days later on 10 March 2021, of the proposed composition of the board of MTCSL.

5. In a letter dated 13 March 2021 (the 11th and 12th March 2021 being public holidays), the Authority drew the attention of MTCSL to the fact that the proposed board would not be compliant with two provisions of the Companies Act 2001 and that MTCSL must be in full compliance with the law before it can be issued a licence.

6. The Authority also informed MTCSL that: (i) a due diligence process, including anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism verifications, must be followed by the Authority before any licence can be issued; (ii) the Authority is assisted for this purpose by other competent authorities; (iii) MTCSL is not an entity which was previously licensed by the Authority; (iv) these processes take time; and (v) MTCSL having been incorporated since 2017, the application could have been made earlier

7. The MTC replied to the letter on 17 March 2021 and had still not provided the names of all proposed directors but stated that the names will be “communicated to you shortly”. The MTC has also stated that MTCSL is “a company which is dormant to date”; this is an issue on which the Authority will seek clarifications. The Authority had understood that all the staff, infrastructure and operations of the MTC would be transferred to MTCSL for MTCSL to organise horse-racing; however, if MTCSL is dormant, as per the MTC’s own averment, MTCSL must cease to be dormant before it can be issued a licence.

8. The MTC provided the names of two new proposed directors on 18 March 2021 and the Authority has immediately started the due diligence process on them, although no application for a personal management licence for those new directors has been made yet.

9. The Authority has been diligently processing the application of MTCSL (including initiating the due diligence process) but as explained above, MTC/ MTCSL have themselves not yet provided all the information and documentation required.

10. The Authority hopes that MTC/MTCSL provides any and all outstanding clarifications and missing information as soon as possible to enable it to process the application.

11. The Authority will continue to engage with MTC/MTCSL diligently. In the meantime, any averment or insinuation to the effect that the Authority is delaying the issue of the licence, or intends to refuse a licence, is not founded.

Thursday 18 March 2021

12th Floor, Newton Tower, Sir William Newton Street, Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius

Tel: (230) 260 2000

Fax: (230) 213 1205

Email: [email protected]

Website: http://gra.govmu.org

 

Communiqué – Licence for Horse Racing Organiser



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