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Tourism Minister ‘Takes Note’ Of Rollins Stance Over Gaming Bill

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Obie Wilchcombe

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

TOURISM Minister Obie Wilchcombe said yesterday that he has “taken note” of Gaming Board Chairman Andre Rollin’s public stance on the government’s new Gaming Bill.

Speaking with The Tribune, Mr Wilchcombe, who has responsibility for gaming, also said the government has no intention of “tweaking” the gaming bill, despite Dr Rollins’ position that he cannot support the Bill in its current form.

“It would not be proper for me to comment on the Chairman of the Gaming Board publicly, but we have taken note of his comments. We take note of his position and his stating them publicly,” he said.

“My position is very simple, the Prime Minister has spoken about it and he is the leader of the Progressive Liberal Party at this time. He is the leader of Cabinet and he is also the gentleman who ensures who is made Chairman or given an official position. So at the end of the day he has spoken for all of us. There has been no effort to tweak the Bill and no proposal made to tweak the Bill.”

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Perry Christie admitted he was concerned about public statements against the Bill made by Dr Rollins given his position as Gaming Board Chairman.

The legislation will be presented in its current form, according to Mr Christie, who did not confirm or deny whether Dr Rollins would be asked to step down as chairman if he opposes the Bill in parliament.

“There is no intrigue,” said Mr Christie, “no unusual consideration going into the delay of the Gaming Bill. The Gaming Bill is still a priority of the government and as soon as we are in a position to deal with it from the parliamentary point of view we will.

“All persons on my side,” he said, “know that there is always the right way to express themselves, obviously when they take another way it is a decision they have made. The only concern I would have is that for Dr Rollins who happens to have a substantive position that is directly connected to the Bill as drafted.”

Mr Christie added: “When you are chairman of the Gaming Board, a consequence is that if you are to speak against an Act that you have to administer, then you have made your position a very difficult one.”

Tabled last month, the Gaming Bill attracted much attention when it was revealed that legislation would permit permanent residents and work permit holders to gamble in casinos while upholding prohibitive clauses for Bahamians. At that time, Mr Christie said he was fully aware of the issues over the discrimination clause and confirmed that his party had not reached a consensus on the Bill or the direction that it should ultimately take.

Comments

TalRussell 6 years, 8 months ago

Good for you Comrade Minister Obie. Can't wait for the reds to come with charges of "Andregate," after the PM pushes his Gaming Chairman off the political plank. PM, if you need any help there is always the willing Deputy Leader Sister Loretta to lend a helping "open handed shove."

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ThisIsOurs 6 years, 8 months ago

Andre is a traitor but Edison a hero?

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SP 6 years, 8 months ago

Perry Christie and Obie Wilchcombe never understood that the Bahamas is a democracy.

Andre Rollins was voted in by “the constituents” of Fort Charlotte, not Christie and Wichcombe, and Rollins is obligated to act on their behalf and best interest.

This is where FNM MP's went wrong with Hubert Ingraham. Instead of standing on their own two feet for the best of their constituents, they cowardly marched to Hubert Ingraham's tuneless "one man band" rapid succession of painfully obvious stupid decisions, even though their constituents voiced total disagreement.

The resultant FNM massive loss at the polls is evident for all to see!

My advice to Mr. Rollins is.....STAND YOUR GROUND!......Don't wait for Christie to ask you to step down.....hand him your resignation forthwith and explain your actions and decision to your constituents.

After all it is they that will decide if you sit in Parliament in 2017 not Christie and Wilchcombe.

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TalRussell 6 years, 8 months ago

Somebody forgets tell Hubert about this so-called Bahamaland politics as a democracy. And, we know how all he cabinet members, MP's and Chairmanship and Chairwomanship did speak their elected to the peoples House democracy minds. Like the time when Hubert threatened their MP and cabinet paychecks, if they dared to vote against his pet project to sell BTC to them foreigners. "No-one red MP voted against the sale. Comrade SP does it mean that not a single House Red MP had a conscience for their constituents? You tell me!

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SP 6 years, 8 months ago

FNM red shirt jelly belly MP's having a conscience for their constituents…..verses.....NOT ......having enough personal fortitude and good sense to stand up for their constituents and convictions was obviously no contest for any of them!

Lucky for us Hubert Ingraham was removed before irreparable damage was done to the country or he succeeded in flooding the country with Haitians.

The Jelly Bellies would have done naught.

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TalRussell 6 years, 8 months ago

Comrade let's not dismiss Hubert as being all bad for our tiny Bahamaland. Had he really retired, the first time, and not chalked up such an dismal record, mainly his last 3 years in power, he would have been considered a fairly good PM. Too bad he didn't know when the time was ripe for him to really retire from the political scene. Personally, I like Hubert. Hopefully, this is Comrade Hubert's final farewell?

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leeza 6 years, 8 months ago

SMT hard Andre Rollins is an opportunist he was voted in yes by the constituents of Fort Charlotte because of his yellow shirt it had nothing to do with him he was never a PLP supporter.l if you had put a dog in there with a yellow shirt he would of won, He is quiet aware that next election he gone so to say he is committed ipolitical suicide is an overstatement

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SP 6 years, 8 months ago

TOURISM Minister Obie Wilchcombe should also be aware that "WE" have“taken note” that he is an ineffectual Minister of tourism.

What has Obie Wilchcombe ever contributed to the development of our tourism product? What experience does Wilchcombe have in the area of tourism?

Obie Wilchcombes' history is that of a broadcaster. He knows nothing of tourism and is way out of his depth.

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banker 6 years, 7 months ago

He knows how to take kick-backs from ad agencies that he gives contracts to. The fact that he cancelled existing contracts a few weeks ago surprised me, because I have seen documents published on the internet when he was last minister of tourism and took hefty kickbacks from a US ad agency with J----- R----- as the go-between.

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GQ 6 years, 8 months ago

I did not think Perry was a dictator like Hubert but since they are both progeges of LOP they must think they can do no wrong. I urge Mr. Rollins to vote his conscience and let the chips fall where they may. It is high time for elected members to have what is the best for the country in mind when voting and not some soon to disappear leader of a party. As for Key he has always been a puppet and a PLP and should walk across the aisle and join his colleagues.

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TalRussell 6 years, 7 months ago

This is not at all about the PM silencing an elected member of the House, as Hubert always did. Comrade Andre can criticize the PM and his government all he wants but not as the politically appointed Chairman of a government board. PM fire this out-of-step Chairman.

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The_Oracle 6 years, 7 months ago

Handling Promotions and marketing internally allows the slush funding to continue, Money movement is getting almost impossible to hide esp. internationally. TIEA agreements OECD requirements, "transparency" are politically inconvenient also.

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SP 6 years, 7 months ago

The PLP and FNM think we have forgotten about the Vincent Vanderpool Wallace scandal.

Why aren't they bringing charges against this former Minister of tourism?

Could it be that he has the goods on skeletons in others closets and threatens to spill the beans on everyone else?

This doesn’t pass the smell test!

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