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Landlord files writ against betting shop Seahorses claiming unpaid rent

Under threat: long-established bookmakers Seahorses is being sued by its landlord. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A popular betting shop that was forced to shut down last year is being sued by its landlord for allegedly failing to pay rent.

According to a writ filed in the Supreme Court, Seahorses Limited – a gambling shop on Queen Street – owes tens of thousands of dollars to its landlord, the Bermuda Mechanics Beneficial Association.

The writ states that Seahorses failed to pay rent for its prime location in the centre of Hamilton throughout the whole of last year.

The writ reads in part: “And the plaintiff claims damages in the amount of $53,304.13 being arrears of rent due from the defendant as of the date hereof and any further amount which shall have become due at the date of termination of the tenancy as hereinafter prayed.”

The writ seeks further damages of $29,956 in service charges and $7,001.33 in other costs.

Last month The Royal Gazetterevealed that all four of the island’s betting establishments – Triple Crown Racing, Paradise Games, Game Time, and Seahorses – had closed after failing to submit license applications to the commission.

After the Bermuda Gaming Commission was given authority to police the industry, it was given “new and more robust” powers.

Previously a commission spokeswoman said: “These changes are intended to ensure that gaming is conducted honestly and to reduce societal harm – for example, provisions prohibiting minors on the premises.

“The process for developing this new regulatory framework and legislation was initiated over two years ago and included extensive industry consultations.

“The new legislation, the Betting Act 2021, establishes very specific requirements for the operation of betting shops in Bermuda. The commission has over the last several months reached out to existing operators and prospective betting shop operators to ensure that they were aware of these requirements.”