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Wilchcombe defends time to debate vote

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

TOURISM Minister Obie Wilchcombe, with gaming in his portfolio, said yesterday he does not think three weeks is “too short a time” to properly inform the public on the pro’s and con’s of gambling.

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Obie Wilchcombe

Mr Wilchcombe’s comments came after heavy criticism from the opposition, who claim the government has not given the public enough information to make an informed decision.

He said campaigns for elections are put together in three weeks or less so the government has more than enough time “to get the information out there.”

He said: “We are using every medium possible. We will use the media, the newspapers, radio ads social network as well as Bahamas Information Services to get the information out there. My office has already began preparation in the event that it is a yes and we have already began the process of putting the machinery in place. We are only waiting for the formal announcement of questions by Dr Nottage, then its full speed ahead and that announcement should happen any minute now.”

Mr Wilchcombe also said if the pubic agrees to legalize web shop gaming, “number houses” will be temporarily shut down to put the necessary regulations and machinery in place. He said this closure is expected to last no less than 30 days and no more than 90 days.

“These web shops will then have to apply for a license, fees will have to be paid and we have to make sure the proper regulations are in place. Now, should they vote No, it then becomes a National Security issue. The National Security Minister will then take over to ensure that legislation and laws are upheld. I am operating for the existence of gaming should the answer be yes. We will have to move immediately for a proper system to be introduced,” he said.

Mr Wilchcombe said the government will ensure the public knows the questions as well as the ramifications of a yes or no vote, well ahead of January 28.

Comments

JohnDoe 10 years, 1 month ago

What utter nonsense. Maybe Mr. Wilchcombe needs to be advised the neither question speaks to the "legalization" of web Shops. The first question only asks whether one thinks Web Shops should be regulated and taxed, as if they are already legal. Further as this is merely an opinion poll this vote in and of itself does nothing to change the law for if it did the results would certainly be open to legal challenge due to the ambiguity of question one.

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BahamasGamingAssociation 8 years, 7 months ago

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bahama...">https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bahama...

WHICH ON OF THE BELOW REIGNS SUPREME IN THE BAHAMAS?

The Bahamas Lottery and Gaming Act Chapter 387 Section 50 Persons prohibited from Gaming

Or

The Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Chapter III – Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedom of the Individual. Section 26 Protection from Discrimination on grounds of Race, Place of Origin etc.

The Bahamas Gaming Association stands by the Ideology that all human beings who are 18 years or older should be treated equally in all sectors of the Bahamian Economy which is enshrined in the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

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