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Former Pm Angered By Yes March

By PAUL G TURNQUEST

Chief Reporter

pturnquest@tribunemedia.net

FORMER Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham urged all Bahamians to vote “No” in Monday’s gambling referendum, stating that Wednesday’s march to the House of Assembly by the ‘Vote Yes’ campaign has made his previous position of “non-participation” in the process now “untenable.”

Having publicly stated that he was not prepared to vote in the January 28th referendum, Mr Ingraham told reporters at his law office yesterday that he has now changed his position and will be voting “No” on Monday.

“A number of FNM supporters and others have spoken to me and have

expressed their alarm at my non-participation in the referendum and I was particularly moved at yesterday’s demonstration. It is unfathomable to see the operators of numbers businesses, including one of whom was convicted in the courts of the Bahamas and the Magistrate ordered just under $1 million confiscated from him. The order has not been reversed on any appeal as far as I am aware. The police, instead of arresting persons who have admitted publicly operating illegal enterprises, the police are escorting them. Instead of handcuffing, they are escorting,” he said.

While not wishing to speak directly to Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade’s lack of action in the matter, Mr Ingraham noted that former Commissioners of Police Paul Farquharson and Reginald Ferguson had arrested persons involved in the gambling industry in the past. While these arrests may never have gone very far, Mr Ingraham said he still finds it “unbelievable” that Craig Flowers can announce publicly that he operates 12 illegal gaming houses in the Bahamas and employs 400 people and no action is taken in respect to his admissions.

“These are public admissions by him. Not suspicions on anybody’s part now. He voluntarily says so and then comes and demonstrates on Bay Street.”

When asked about Prime Minister Perry Christie’s defence of Mr Flowers and other gambling operators who marched on Bay Street as a great show of “democracy”, Mr Ingraham said his only response could be is to “laugh.”

As to the January 28th referendum, Mr Ingraham said he had no idea which way the vote could possibly go. However, he said he is doing his part now, hoping that whatever influence he has over anyone in society would encourage them to vote “No” on all questions.

“I am voting no, period. Because the truth of the matter is this government will never put in place a lottery. They never intended to do so. They were pressured and changed their mind. They are indebted to, and committed to, and devoted to the illegal number business people. A lottery is a joke from their point of view.

“If for instance you really wanted revenue, the national lottery would produce far more money than a taxation of the casino fellas. Because what is the difference between 15 or 20 per cent to 100 per cent? A big difference,” he said.

Previously, Mr Ingraham’s former administration had taken a position that they were going to likewise hold a referendum on the matter, as it appeared that the police were “unable” to enforce the laws of the land with respect to gambling. Mr Ingraham said that the country could not allow such an industry to continue “unregulated” and either the laws were going to be enforced or they would make it legal. In the end, Mr Ingraham said that he was persuaded not to proceed with licensing the industry after speaking with Anglican Archbishop Laish Boyd.

“He was most persuasive. And I changed my mind. I went back to my colleagues and said gentlemen we are not going to proceed. I had a lengthy chat today with the Anglican Bishop and he persuaded me that this is the wrong thing for us to do at this time. We will therefore put it to a vote sometime in the future. And if you would note, the FNM in its Manifesto for the 2012 general election did not say a word about web gambling. It was not a part of our Manifesto. So it was no longer a part of our agenda,” he said.

Mr Ingraham added, however, that he has no personal objections to persons engaged in legal games of chance. In fact his previous position of non-participation in Monday’s referendum hinged on the fact that the referendum, which was meant to legalize web-shop gambling or “numbers”, left in place a prohibition preventing Bahamian citizens, residents and work permit holders from access to legal gaming in casinos licensed and regulated by the Bahamas Gaming Board.

Comments

jackflash 7 years, 1 month ago

That's not all - what about the flat screens they were giving away at the last ralley?

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John 7 years, 1 month ago

It is good that the former PM did an about face and decided to vote in the non-binding, up coming referundum. However at this point Perry Christie has started a bll roling that th cannot intercept anymore, so come a majority" yes" or resounding 'NO" on the 28 the the number bosses will have their way One of the weaknesses of the former Pm is that he waits until he is overcome with emotion to speak out on issues. Some times the things he says, no matter how well intentioned, does not carry over well to the Bahamian people, because of the way ha says it.

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concernedcitizen 7 years, 1 month ago

nice to hear from you Papa ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,thanks for the many years ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the Bahamas is better b/c of you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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paul_vincent_zecchino 7 years, 1 month ago

I agree with you. History will be kind to Mr. Ingraham. The Bahamas reflect his fine legacy.

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John 7 years, 1 month ago

Poor Showing at the "VOTE NO" rally on R.M. Bailey park last nite. Seems like the 'yes"s have it in the bag.

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dacy 7 years, 1 month ago

everyone I hang around voting NO, but we didnt go on RM Bailey Park...

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John 7 years, 1 month ago

I WILL NOT VOTE IN THE POLL ON MONDAY! The reason is simple. The PM already said that regardless of the outcome of the vote, web shops will be open on Tuesday February 29. By NOT voting rather than voting no, a low voter turm out will send a message to the government that you went about this process the wrong way. Lets face the facts: this gambling/gaming/webshop thing is ways out of control. Successive governments (yes PLP's and FNM's) have allowed this thing to grow and fester to the point where it is consuming our legitimate economy. As fast as a food store or or any other business close down, the building is re-opened in a matter of hours, as a web shop. As they say bad money (web shops) are chasing away good money. (they are drawing so much money out of our challenged economy that a regular business suffer and close down. So the web shop horse is not only already out the gate but it has broken away from the cart. Evil will abound when wise men do nothing. You must respect Mr. Craig Flowers when he says that this thing is out of control and needs to be fixed. That can also be read "we are taking too much money from the people and government needs to get its portion, or at least slow us down. It can also mean that if the web shops continue to grow unabated, without reguation, they will soon begin to consume each other and become so competitive that they will no longer be profitable. They can get to the point where the operators of web shops begin fighting among themselves for terrtrory rights and Bahamians wake up to a front page story that says ,"another web shop burnt down", or 'web shop owner goes missing." The bible says the day will come when men will take their gold and throw it in the streets for fear of being robbed and killed for it. When the 'Cash for Gold" stores popped in this country up this is just what happened. Persons were being robbed at home, work, in t cars for gold. Homes and businesses were invaded and gold and valuables stolen So it was and still is with copper thefts So look around, you can see very few persons wearing gold. Many pawned it off (threw it away) for little or nothing. We are living prophecy. So now If Perry Christie, as Prime Minister has found the gumption to do something about these webshops and gaming, he needs to stand up and do it and stop trying to hide behind opinions of the people or the opinions of the church. The PLP ran on a platform that they will fix the web shop problem so now why is a second opinion from the same set of people necessary? I don't gamble, never have, but I meet people who have stayed at Paradise Island. They will tell you we had a good time and will say 'we gambled in the casino.' Then if you ask them if they won some will say, "well i was winning at first but then I lost all back" If you ask how much they lost they will say "about $30.00" The difference between them and Bahamian gamblers was that the tourist was on vacation.

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John 7 years, 1 month ago

The difference betweenthem and Bahamians who want to gamble was that the tourist was on vacation. They went into the casino and lost less than $50.00 and most of them will probably never see a casino again untill they take another vacation. They gambled for fun. Bahamians want to gamble everyday, they, for the most part, are habitual gamblers, who expect to win big! They expect to pay the rent, the mortage, the school fees and even retire with winnings from gambling. And therein lies the danger. So the vice of gambling draws them to other sins, they dip into the occoult and consult demons of numerology, many lose heavily and others become addicts. Bills go unpaid, children suffer and families destruct. Money is drawn out of the economy for which no value is recieved and the domonio effect contnues so as to affect government and even church offerings. A few persons become filty rich while the economy dies.. just look around at what is happening in Nassau if you do not believe me. The PM has a tough call to make and the "Perry shuffle" will not get him out

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242 7 years, 1 month ago

Good points all the reason why you should go out and vote. That will send a message more than letting your vote go uncounted.

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dacy 7 years, 1 month ago

evil prevails when good men do nothing!

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John 7 years, 1 month ago

Someone asked me if I think gambling is really demonic. I believe that we are in the last stages of earths history. The bible says that "as it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end. There is nothing new under the sun and whislt many churches are teaching their membership 'that perilous times shall come, they are also telling them "we shall be raptured away before that time", we are now living in the end times. Perilous times are here Satan has began putting his mark (666) in people's forehead ( making them think(marking in their brain) wrong is right, or at least, wrong is ok) or in their hand (actually getting them to do his work. Be it gambling murder, same sex marriage etc. Look around at the clothing people are wearing today for example, most of it is full of satan's mark..Most of the brands that Bahamians (and black people) like have skulls- another name for satan is death- upside down crosses (making mockery of Christ being crucufied for our sins) Mis-quoted scripture (Satan tried to trip Jesus up with this), words telling us to believe in ourselves and our own salvation (humanism), daggers and full body skeletons and "angel'swings" (the fly away (rapture)doctorine, If you go in some of the stores that sell this suff (Miami, Ft lauderdale) you can feel the demons jumping out at you in these stores, you get that warm errie feeling. Why would a grown man want to put on clothes that have a full size skeleton on it and go to a club..and we wonder why the mudrer rate is what it is...Satan is marking those he wants to claim as his own. The other day I went to a store to buy a pair of tennis. Everything looked nice and neat on the outside, but when I went to try the tennis on, the inside was full of skulls and crossbones..not by the heel where I could have easily seen it but in the sole..WE are being decieved..Gambling is just another of Satans lies that tell us it will fix everyting

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BahamasGamingAssociation 5 years, 8 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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