Bahamas gambling referendum

The debate around the referendum/poll has seemingly descended into chaos. Social media Political Pundit Cecil Newry takes a look at the various angles. Jeff Todd, ASSOCIATED PRESS NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) – Voters in the Bahamas on Monday overwhelmingly rejected a referendum to legalize gambling for citizens of the. Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie told legislators that his Progressive Liberal Party will hold a gambling referendum this year.

Bahamas to hold gambling referendum

My fellow Bahamians, The Government is committed to participatory democracy and believes in the timeless tenet that public policy should consistently reflect the collective will, desires, aspirations and sensibilities of you the Bahamian people. The first question reads as follows: Incredibly, the prime minister maintains that this informal polling will either initiate a new multi-million-dollar oligopoly for the benefit of selected web shop owners, or set in motion a massive police and judicial crackdown that will destabilise the industry and upset tens of thousands of Bahamian gamblers. Deposits can be made electronically or in cash. Neither outcome seems at all rational or desirable. We pledge to be guided by this fundamental ethical and democratic principle through all of our deliberations on your behalf.

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Voters in Bahamas reject gambling referendum

In keeping with that commitment, the Prime Minister in a communication to Parliament on the 8th of August, confirmed the intention of the government to proceed with a referendum on the issue of a National Lottery and or Web Cafes as soon as practicable following the North Abaco Bye Election.

He indicated then that the referendum would seek to ascertain the will of the Bahamian electorate as to whether a National Lottery should be instituted and whether Web Shops should be regulated, licensed and taxed.

In a further communication to Parliament on November 1st , the Prime Minister announced that a Referendum would be held on the 3rd of December At the time he noted that it would deal only with Web Shop Gaming. On November 14th , the Prime Minister indicated to Parliament that as a result of evolving public discourse, it became clear that more time was needed before the Bahamian people should be called upon to vote and that the government had decided to bring the question of a National Lottery within the scope of the referendum.

He indicated that the proposed new date for the referendum would be the 28th of January Subsequently the Constitutional Referendum Amendment Act, was passed by Parliament on 7th December, and the Referendum Regulations, were gazetted on 31st December, setting out the general parameters for the conduct of a Referendum. These pieces of legislation are to ensure that Referenda in The Bahamas are conducted based on tried and true electoral processes.

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Bahamas Gambling Referendum—Confusing, Inept and Counter-productive by Larry Smith Well, if social media, the press and personal conversations are any guide, there has been a noticeable turn away from the previously favourable or indifferent view towards the upcoming gambling referendum on the part of most non-evangelical Bahamians. And playing the central role in this shift has been the confusing and contradictory statements from the prime minister who, if ZNS is anything to go by, spends all his time flitting around the country making portentous and convoluted statements on every issue under the sun, as he basks in his political glory.

But supporters of the measure still believe that a well-funded campaign will carry the day. And the promotional machine funded by the web shop operators is only just beginning to kick in.

T-shirts and other paraphernalia urging a 'yes' vote are being given away in all sorts of places, from PLP block parties to government offices, and a Facebook contest has been launched offering cash prizes for videos, songs, poems and dances promoting the legalisation of web shops. The Vote Yes campaign's Facebook page has more than fans and says it represents "the thousands of Bahamians who believe the Bahamian gaming industry is worth fighting for.

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A Vote No campaign was recently set up by religious interests to oppose the legalisation of the web shops. It's Facebook page has only 29 likes so far, but features a video of a parade of local clerics urging a no vote on moral grounds. And homophobic pastor Lyall Bethel claims that a yes vote will open the door to same-sex marriage in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, the PLP's inept packaging of the gambling vote has turned off many who would otherwise have supported the measure as a matter of course, and the issue will likely be determined along crude political lines.

This of course leaves aside those whose religious convictions won't allow them to support gambling under any circumstances. It is certain there would be many more supporters if the matter had been handled in a more effective and transparent way - and if the proposal included a national lottery, as the prime minister and the PLP had originally promised.


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Reasons for the lack of full-scale gambling include the influence of the Catholic Church, history and politics. Gamblers in Mexico can enjoy betting on horse racing, dog racing, Jai Alai, bullfighting, cockfighting, sports betting, lottery and scratch-off cards.

Video-style gaming machines are also readily available, and casino-style games like blackjack and roulette can be found if you look hard enough. A Brief History of Mexican Gaming Whether wagering on sports or simply for recreation, gambling in Mexico goes back past the time of the Aztecs. And it has been as active part of the Mexican culture since the 19th century, when the French made an effort to colonize the country.

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During the 30 year reign of Porfirio Diaz, French-style casinos could be found all across the landscape. After the Mexican Civil War It came back to prominence in the s, as Americans were looking for a legal place to gamble outside of their country.

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In , a gaming law was passed to further cement the supposed death of the gambling industry. As of this writing, that law is still in place. After the new law was passed, most casinos were forced to shut their doors. However, some managed to remain in operation simply on the business generated by their hotels.

One notable hotel of the time, the Hotel Rosarito in Tijuana, generated income by converting their casino floor into a ballroom dance hall. Gambling in Late 20th Century Mexico Since that time, there has been a constant debate on whether or not to make gambling fully legal in Mexico.



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