Dismissed commissioner demands 443,000 guilders from Gaming Control Board in summary proceedings

WILLEMSTAD - The recently fired commissioner of the Gaming Control Board, Jamir Barton, is demanding 443,000 guilders from the regulator for his work as acting director. Barton filed a lawsuit, but the judge advised the GCB and Barton to reach a settlement.  


Last month the news came out that a member of the supervisory board of the Gaming Control Board (GCB) in Curaçao, Jamir Barton, allegedly committed fraud. The fraud was denied by Barton in an extensive letter. Nevertheless, the Minister of Finance, Javier Silvania, decided to dismiss Barton as commissioner of the GCB. The former Supervisory Board member then went to court.  


Last Tuesday it was summary proceedings that Barton brought against the GCB. In addition to contesting his dismissal, he wanted compensation for his work as acting board of directors. According to Barton, he had also been an acting director from June 2021 to January 2023 and he demanded compensation for this.  


In the nine months before this period, Barton had also fulfilled this role together with Zuleika Lasten, the then chairman of the Supervisory Board. In court he stated that they each received 21,600 guilders per month during this period. On that basis, Barton says he would be entitled to 433,000 guilders in overdue salary. 


However, the Gaming Control Board saw this differently. According to the GCB, a Supervisory Board member who deputizes does not receive a salary. According to Bertie Braam, lawyer for the GCB, there would be a conflict of interest. In addition, he disputes the legitimacy of the aforementioned remuneration received by Lasten and Barton during the first observation period. In fact, the GCB would soon decide whether those fees will be recovered. 


Finally, Braam states that Barton's claim is based on nothing. In the period that Barton mentions, from June 2021 to January 2023, he was suspended for four months and he would now like compensation for this. In addition, another Supervisory Board member was acting Executive Board member between March 2022 and November 2022. The relevant Supervisory Board member also received no compensation for this.  


Barton says he has worked 1,484 hours as acting Executive Board. Braam refers to the time registration system of the GCB on this point. That software indicates for the period in question only 154.13 hours that were spent on deputy tasks.  


Due to the complexity of the case and the future substantive proceedings that could take years, the judge advised Barton and the GCB to reach a settlement. The parties will inform the court no later than Friday 10 February whether they have reached a settlement.