EDITOR, The Tribune.
Casino gaming is today moreso than ever a highly respectable occupation in the leisure sector. It adds to a resort and brings in or should do if there is good competition far more revenue than that of a room rented at $200-300 a night.
The recent referendum caught the Christie government on the wrong foot as clearly they rushed into the event thinking everything will fall their way but true to form Bahamians decided their way and both numbers and national lottery were rejected.
Buying real estate every consultant will tell you it is location-location and location and I suggest seriously The Bahamas has just that, but we don’t see this and foolishly have placed restrictions on the number of casinos that can be licensed on New Providence – three – two active and one not, South Ocean which everyone has been waiting for for far too long.
Why shouldn’t government look totally differently to casinos and allow say at least four-six more on New Providence as for sure any hotel spends valuable promotional moneys to bring patrons to their property but the patrons leave for Atlantis or Baha Mar to play in the casino and the hotel gets zero return, but pays the same electricity, taxes, etc, etc.
What would be wrong if government will throw open the number of licenses to any hotel with 500 rooms to be able to have a casino and slot machines?
The casino operations with their connects to the US will attract visitors and let’s be honest a casino player will benefit the treasury far more than a couple just occupying a room at even $350 a night – they, the additional casinos will employ more people and put Nassau at least on the map – straight competition.
Mr Prime Minister: Why are we restricting casino licenses when everyone in the business will advise you – you would do nothing better if The Bahamas wishes to be a player in the global tourism business.
It works all over the globe and it will work here.
Please, Mr Prime Minister, see the future and cast your support to this.
June 19, 2013.