Philipsburg:--- The Ministry of Economic Affairs has granted the Dolphin Casino License to Millennium Star NV owned by Obenncio Fleming, the campaign manager of Member of Parliament Frans Richardson. Minister of Economic Affairs Franklin Meyers confirmed that the license has been signed off and it was sent to General Affairs for further processing. Minister Meyers said the owner of Millennium Star NV applied for the Dolphin Casino License in September 2010 but government had to wait for the court proceedings to finalize before they could have granted it to Millennium Star NV.
Meyers said the request was submitted after Golden Palm NV (Dolphin Casino) filed for bankruptcy. The Minister said when the company filed for its bankruptcy government had the authority to pull back the license but the owner of Golden Palm had contested government's decision in court and the judge he said ruled in government's favor since the company was in breach of their contract, the judge also granted the businessman the opportunity to appeal. Minister Meyers said on July 28th 2011 government was given legal advice that the businessman did not appeal the judgment and as such they can proceed with the request submitted by Millennium Star NV. Minister Meyers said that since this falls under the (10) casinos on St. Maarten, Golden Palm will now be replaced by Millennium Star NV Casino.
Minister Meyers also addressed what he called insinuations by people who feel that Government held Member of Parliament Frans Richardson hostage with the granting of the license for him to change sides in government. Minister Meyers said Richardson is a Member of Parliament and if that was so, he Richardson could have called his Ministry to Parliament to question them on how they handle business licenses. Minister Meyers flatly denied ever holding Richardson hostage or using the advice as a whipping tool against Member of Parliament Richardson. However, he made clear that Millennium Star NV is in the name of Obencio Fleming (a close friend of the Member of Parliament) while the building belongs to Frans Richardson and his partner. The Minister said he is somewhat irritated with the fact that there is a selected few people who believes that each time government takes a decision in favor of a local (St. Maartener) then a back door a deal or something went down under the table.
Meyers further explained that when he first took office a year ago he was asked if the United Peoples Party had discussed with Dr. Lloyd Richardson and if Dr. Lloyd Richardson was promised the garbage contract for his brother. Minister Meyers said the only reason he raised this point is to show the course or trend the island is taking when decisions are taken.