Tourists ‘would be able to buy lotto tickets’ if gambling is legalised


Obie Wilchcombe


Tribune Staff Reporter


A regulated web-shop industry and the creation of a national lottery could become tourism attractions for the country and sources of revenue, according to Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe.

Speaking yesterday morning outside Cabinet, Mr Wilchcombe said if both questions on the January 28 gambling referendum are passed, tourists would “absolutely” be able to purchase lotto tickets and play numbers – in addition to present casino gambling.

He compared it to the number of Bahamians who gamble and play lottos, abroad.

“In the United States on an annual basis, (Bahamians) spend $2.5 billion – now how much of that is spent on the national lottery in Florida?” he questioned.

“Well if they (Americans) come here, we’re talking about 3 to 5 million tourists who can buy lottery tickets. And in fact, they can buy webshop numbers as well because its open to everyone. It’s not restrictive.”

It was last week that the tourism minister, with gaming in his portfolio, said 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.

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

“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,” he said.

“My office has already begun preparation in the event that it is a ‘yes’ and we have already begun the process of putting the machinery in place. We are only waiting for the formal announcement of questions by Dr Nottage, then it’s full speed ahead and that announcement should happen any minute now.”

Mr Wilchcombe 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.


TalRussell 10 years, 11 months ago

Say what you want minister responsible for handling the PM "thing" on numbers, you PLP's is so damn bad at hiding the appearance of PLP's being smack in bed with the numbers "bosses," who regardless of how much "rudge" you PLP members of government smear on, pretending not to be supporting the Vote "YES" Pig, it still go'in remain an illegal pig on and beyond January 28, 2013.

Comrade Minister Obie the more you talk'in, the more ya Vote "YES" rudge is showing?

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by TalRussell

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242 10 years, 11 months ago

why would tourist be interested? I am sure where they are coming from would have bigger lotteries.If they come to gamble, they come for the Casinos obviously.


Ironvelvet 10 years, 11 months ago

Boy for once I agree with you TalRussell :-)


spoitier 10 years, 11 months ago

TalRussell isn't so bad, it wasn't evident before the election though.


Ironvelvet 10 years, 11 months ago

You are right. I've been noticing that. lol I think we've all had wars with him or her at some point. That being said, I do love blogging on this site with fellow Bahamians. We are a passionate people. Its nice to know what the average Bahamian is thinking. I wonder how many people in positions of power read our comments.


bigdee 10 years, 11 months ago

know the way government i think the 30days is going turn into 3months so gave or take it be 3months for this gambleing to be sort out i hope its a no vote caued some if this numbers is be taken so much from the poor dnt mind the persons wining houses or monies from thir big parties that was monies which persons spin in thier web shops shut them down


BahamasGamingAssociation 9 years, 5 months ago



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


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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