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'Christie has failed as the leader of the nation'

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FNM Chairman Darron Cash

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

FNM Chairman Darron Cash said yesterday Prime Minister Perry Christie “failed miserably” as the nation’s leader and minister of finance by neglecting to explain to the public the ramifications a “no” vote in the gaming referendum would have on the Bahamian economy.

In a press release, Mr Cash said Mr Christie knew before the referendum that the Central Bank had concerns about money laundering and the impact an unregulated gaming industry could have on the Bahamian economy.

Yet he still failed to educate the public on the importance of a “yes” vote, Mr Cash argued.

Mr Cash was criticising the prime minister’s wrap up of debate on the Gaming Bill, which was passed in the House of Assembly Monday night.

“It is now clear that before the gambling referendum in 2013, the prime minister should have been acutely aware of the major money laundering concerns harboured by the governor of the Central Bank.

“And as the prime minister pointed out in Parliament, any government worth its salt would not have had to rely on the governor of the Central Bank to say anything.

“By his own admission, the money laundering concerns and the implications for the Bahamas’ relationship with international agencies such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and others should have been self-evident,” Mr Cash said.

“This admission by the prime minister underscores the fact that Mr Christie failed miserably in his job as minister of finance. If he was a competent minister of finance and had taken the time to do his homework, he should have been well aware of what he describes as the best practice necessity of regulating webshops.

“Consequently, a competent prime minister and minister of finance would have had a horse in the race and would have gone to great lengths to educate the people as to why voting ‘yes’ was important.”

The FNM chairman said it is regrettable that the nation’s chief did not take this step before the gaming referendum.

“By his own inaction it is he who put at risk the Bahamas’s reputation in the international financial community.”

Before the Bill was voted on, Mr Christie told the House the government could generate as much as $30m a year in taxes and other fees on webshops.

The government also expects $25m from webshops in penalties and other fees as the sector transitions into a regulated environment, he said.

Mr Christie also referred to the controversy over his government’s decision to ignore the results of last year’s gaming referendum in order to regularise the webshop industry.

He emphasised that his views on the matter have changed overtime.

“As I stated recently during the last Budget debate,” he said, “my government’s position on the regularisation of webshop gaming has evolved as a result of certain realities which have emerged, following the outcome of the referendum on this issue. It is misleading and most unfortunate to suggest that the government in proceeding with the regularisation of webshop gaming, is being undemocratic and ignoring the outcome of the low turnout of registered voters in the consultative, non-binding referendum.

“As explained to religious leaders and others whose views, advice and counsel I greatly respect, the economic, social, law and order, national interest and international obligation realities which have developed, make it absolutely necessary and the right thing for the Government to regularise web shop gaming in the manner being proposed.”

The legislation will overhaul the country’s gaming industry by modernising games offered in hotel-based casinos and regulating web shops owned by Bahamians.

Comments

John 8 years, 4 months ago

If the PM failed to inform the people the importance of voting 'yes' then the opposition also failed by encouraging people to vote 'no' on the gaming bill. Since the FNM was the government just prior to the referendum, they were privy to the same central bank information that Cash now speaks about, but they sat on their hands on this matter. In economics there s a saying that bad money will chase away good money. And that is what a 400 - 600 million dollar underground gambling economy was doing to the Bahamas' economy. Just look around, web shops seem to be the only businesses booming or flourishing in some inner city communities. The mom and pop stores have closed, the corner take-a-ways, even liquor stores have closed; yet web shops are opening left right and center. Time for them to be taxed and strictly regulated.

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birdiestrachan 8 years, 4 months ago

What more can on expect from Mr: Cash The FNM"S knew of the problems connected with the web shops yet they voted NO. It is interesting that the FNM's and the Christian Council seems to speak with the same voice "Moral Authority?" It will be wise for the Christian council to preach like Paul, "Jesus Christ Crucified".

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happyfly 8 years, 4 months ago

the 'NO' vote was supposed to make numbers illegal and close the industry down you clown !!

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Bahamas676 8 years, 4 months ago

yea i hope you'll dumb son of a bitches who talking about legalizing web shops and regulating them are prepared to be black listed, banks closing down, unable to use visa and debit cards, hauled IMF loans, closure of all offshore banks and future sanctions, you'll are fucking seriously dumb who ever in favors gambling..everyone will be tapping out except for the number bosses and the people in their inner circle. The referendum clearly stated people were not in favour of this bull shit and he still passed it this aint no dam democracy this a fucking communist nation. fuck ull i glad i got m y fucking Gun no one taking that bitch away from me!

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Cobalt 8 years, 4 months ago

While I do not agree with the profane manner in which you voice your concerns, I certainly agree with the premise of your message. Silly, incompetent, short-sighted citizens like birdiestrachan and John can't see through their own clouds of ignorance because they possess an unwavering, blood-bought support for the PLP (no matter what nonsense they do). Any fool living in the Bahamas knows that Christie's gambling agenda was nothing more than a payback arrangement involving the numbers bosses who funded most of the PLPs campaign. Years ago, it used to be that the PLP campaign trail was funded by drug-traffickers like Samuel "90" Knowles and Sean Isaacs. But now.... under the watchful eye of the United States' DEU, this is no longer a feasible practice.

The IMF and other major players in the global banking industry have already warned the Bahamas that regulating webshops will prove detrimental to the Finance Industry and financial stability of our country. Not only have they warned us, but they've gone as far as to place the cons of this practice in black and white for all to see. Yet Christie, who is listed as the Finance Minister, has chosen to ignore the impending danger associated with gambling, and shoved it down the throats of Bahamian people, although we voted against it. Are we as Bahamians suppose to believe that any government in this country is capable of regulating a multi-million dollar entity such as national gambling??? As a matter of fact... every entity that has been placed in the hands of the Bahamian government has proven a colossal failure!! Just look at the BOB!!! Look at BEC!!! Look at the legislature!!! What successful project can this government boast of???? Not a one!!! On a 7 by 21 island they can't even keep the damn lights on for crying out loud!!! So how in the world can they regulate a complex practice such as gambling where the tendency, and temptation for theft and corruption is prevalent???

The only thing that Perry Christie and his PLP government have done for the past two years is align the pockets of PLP contemporaries like Margarite Pindling and Leon Williams just to name a few. And the passing of this bill was just another tell-tale example of which. In the meantime, the masses of Bahamians remain ignorant, desolate, powerless, and unwilling to do anything about it. As far as I can see, the entire Bahamas is on a sloped collision coarse with catastrophe.

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themessenger 8 years, 4 months ago

Unfortunately for the seemingly few rationally thinking Bahamians, the ignorant majority like Birdie and others of that ilk can't see from behind their rose colored glasses how far in the toilet we as a country really are and are content with the busted "flush" that this government has dealt them and us. The only ones holding aces in this game are the numbers boys and the politically chosen few.

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NoNoNo 8 years, 4 months ago

Sad just sad. http://s04.flagcounter.com/mini/kfoW/..." style="display:none" />

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duppyVAT 8 years, 4 months ago

Perry should not have been given a second chance ............ I blame all who voted for PLP and DNA

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themessenger 8 years, 4 months ago

More food for thought for those of us that think that Mr. Christie can't manipulate.................

"Success is the important thing. Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. The point of a political speech is to persuade people of what we think right. I speak differently in the provinces than I do in Berlin, and when I speak in Bayreuth, I say different things than I say in the Pharus Hall. That is a matter of practice, not of theory. We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths.” ― Joseph Goebbels

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duppyVAT 8 years, 4 months ago

The PLP is far better than Goebbels ........................... where u livin

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mostsickandtired 8 years, 4 months ago

Why should we Bahamians be guided by foreign banks who try to instill fear in us by saying how they will close down? They have been closing down since Hubert enacted those Financial laws and they still moving out and downsizing NOW. The banking sector is definitely not what it was, and of course they are scared of the Numbers Houses financial resources, where hopefully Bahamians will now be able to get legitimate loans at lower rates than at these loan shark established banks. As John stated, only the numbers houses are flourishing. I look forward to the time when our black brothers and sisters have the same power and monetary resources that the white privileged minority have enjoyed for so long on the backs of their ancestors' pirating, slave ownership, bootlegging, gun running etc!

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TalRussell 8 years, 4 months ago

Comrade Daron based upon your argument of what a PM should have known, shouldn't the Hubert regime not also have been acutely aware of the major money laundering concerns harboured by the governor of the Central Bank, long before his former trusted law partner whipped his defeated backside all way back to Cooper's Town? Still wasn't it a reds government that were responsible for growing the web shop licensing scheme of sorts? We know that despite both PM Hubert and his security minister Tommy T., receiving regular security briefings from the Commish of Policemans - they had no problems allowing appointed by the PM business licensing people to issue a sh@@load licenses to web shops? Do you really want anyone to believe the red shits cabinet were clueless of the numbers wagering going on behind those security doors and windows? Both political parties equally stink from the smell campaign cash numbers monies.yet they talks like they can throw stones? But it still doesn't begin to excuse away the PLP's passing of the Numbers Bill and it's important to note the bill was passed with a larger majority, because two red shirts MP's failed to be in the House to vote NO.

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John 8 years, 4 months ago

Without all the name calling: So how is it that Web Shops have opened in Bermuda Turks and Cacios, Cayman Islands and yes even impoverished Haiti without the "rigamarol" we experienced in the Bahamas? And in fact some of the same players involved in the Bahamas gaming are involved in some of these countries where in the case of Haiti the market is more than ten times the size. How it that St. Lucia (stand to be corrected on the name) is suing the United States for $250 million forforcing it to close down its web shops. There are paid propagandist in this forum who turn blue like poison when they cant get their point across. Does The US still have the legal or moral authority to arrest and prosecute persons for the trafficking of marijuana when a number of its states have legalised the drug?

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John 8 years, 4 months ago

How many states in the US do not sell lottery tickets?

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John 8 years, 4 months ago

Aren't the casinos exposed to the same opportunities to launder money as the web shopps?

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John 8 years, 4 months ago

Dont forget our good friend to the West wanted to test AIDS drugs by injecting Bahamians with the live AIDS virus that would leave them testing positive. Then not to forget the tonnes of nerve gas they dumped in the ocean off Andros in the 1980'. Do they really care about us? Really

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LLFFBB 8 years, 4 months ago

Only in the Bahamas, politicians fight with each other everyday for the whole term. Could never work together. As if election is always next week. Some parts of the world call this treason... "I'm only sayin"

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