Gambling Referendum To Take Back Seat To North Abaco Vote


Prime Minister Perry Christie


Tribune Staff Reporter


THE highly anticipated referendum on the legalisation of gambling will take the backseat to a potential North Abaco bye-election.

As the government continues to plan for the contentious vote, Prime Minister Perry Christie said the resignation of Hubert Ingraham will take priority.

“If Mr Ingraham resigns it means that a seat is vacant and that at some point there will be a bye-election,” Mr Christie said.

“That takes priority over any referendum that I would hold, so in terms of the calendar of events for the government we have to see how that calendar of events will be influenced by the declared intention to resign by Mr Hubert Ingraham.

“(The referendum) it’s on the table and it’s on the table for this year,” he added.

Meanwhile, several religious groups – including the Bahamas Christian Council– reaffirmed their stance against gambling and any attempts to legalize the activity.

In public statements last month, council president Ranford Patterson maintained that the social consequences outweigh potential revenue for the government.

In anticipation of the public vote, several number house owners have banded together to launch an educational campaign.  Comprised of FML Group of Companies, Asue Draw, Island Game and Island Luck, the campaign will focus on community development initiatives.

With reports of at least 16 independent number houses in New Providence alone, another six in Grand Bahama and a few spread throughout the Family Islands, it has been estimated that a national lottery could pump more than $190 million into the Bahamas’ economy annually.

Dicrius Ramsey, general Manager of Island Luck, told The Tribune in a previous interview that number houses employ up to 3,000 Bahamians directly with an annual payroll of more the $6 million per annum.

Making his case for legalising local gambling or playing numbers, Mr Ramsey said number houses also indirectly employ 2,000 Bahamians and have injected as much as $100,000 per month into community organisations.

As it stands gambling is illegal in all forms for Bahamians and non-citizen residents of the Bahamas.


haitianboy 7 years, 7 months ago

If gambling is illegal then why are they having a referendum; shouldn’t they be enforcing the law to shut down these places. Why not have referendums on smoking marijuana since it’s so popular? This suppose to be a Christian nation with Christian values, clearly it’s not. It’s more like a hypocritical nation with hypocritical values.


TalRussell 7 years, 7 months ago

If the PM is explaining it must mean the growing divide between the "for" and 'against" legalizing the criminal numbers rackets operators is already showing it's head. That the true proponents for legalization is the millionaire numbers men's themselves and not a cry coming from the public.

Surly, PM Christie must have memories of what he successfully did at the polls to his former law partner's red shirts in the 2002 General Elections, following their disastrous experimenting around with holding a referendum on social policy changes?

Comrades did you ever in this lifetime think you'd live see the day when the men's running the criminal numbers rackets would be showing their faces on our Bahamaland's 'government owned' TV station, with pastors in tow?

Why didn't the Commission of police not surround ZNS TV and arrest the numbers men's?

PM, true one of the good reverend may have become "sanitized" to legalizing the numbers rackets, cause the numbers man financed he regatta sailing boat. But don't you taking that as a true signal from the public. It ain't so.

PM can't the courts seize a sailboat if the proceeds to pay for it came from criminal activities? If not, why not?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UweKLx...">Pastors Meet With Numbers Operators by https://www.youtube.com/user/ZNSNetwork">ZNSNetwork


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