Dear Dr Nottage,
Re: Web Shops Question Objection
On behalf of the Bahamas Christian Council and the Save Our Bahamas Vote No Campaign Committee, I hereby write to register our objection to the wording of the web shop gambling question.
The proposed question is: “Do you support the regulation and taxation of web shop gaming?” However, it is our considered view that this question is incorrectly worded, and our specific objection is to the word “regulation.”
We are of the view that the correct and transparent word that should be used in its stead is the word “legalisation.” Hence, the question that should be asked of the Bahamian people is: “Do you support the legalisation and taxation of web shop gaming?” We say this for the following reasons:
• The use of the word “regulation” wrongly implies that web shop gambling is legal and merely needs to be regulated. However, if only the mere regulation of web shops is needed, why does the Bahamas government need the opinion of voters to make a decision to regulate them?
• We believe that the web shop gambling question is currently worded in favour of a “yes” vote. As currently worded, some Bahamians who wish to vote “no” to the legalisation of web shop gambling might feel forced to vote for “yes” for its “regulation” in fear that a “no” vote would mean that the government will leave web shops to continue operating as they currently are. The word “regulation” confuses the issue.
• The fundamental issue about web shop gambling is whether or not this currently illegal activity should be legalised. All sides agree that this is the issue. Why then is the word “legalisation” absent from the web shops question?
Bearing the foregoing in mind, Dr Nottage, we hereby ask that, in the interest of a transparent and clearly worded web shop gambling question, the word “regulation” be substituted with the word “legalisation.”
Sir, I look forward to you and your government agreeing to this single word change that more honestly, clearly and correctly puts the web shop gambling question to the Bahamian people.
As time is of the essence, would be grateful to receive your formal confirmation of the change at your earliest convenience.
President, Bahamas Christian Council