by Mark Russel.
In 2013 the notion of the “house nigga” is still alive and well in The Bahamas. The government of the day is blatantly calling us asses to our faces and we sit content and accept it with a big “thank you massa”.
Its time we get up and let our politicians know that we are tired of the crumbs they throw our way, its time we get a slice of the cake.
As the referendum approaches, let me start out by saying, that as an adult, I believe that if gambling is available in the country where I live, and I want to partake, I should be the one who makes the ultimate decision whether to do so or not. That said, there are several reasons why I would still vote “NO” in the upcoming referendum.
Of note is the case put forward by former PLP Chairman, Mr. Reynard Rigby. Among other things, Mr. Rigby questioned the constitutional legality of the entire process in general, and had specific issues with the way the government has worded the referendum questions. In addition to Mr. Rigby’s concerns, I have my own questions listed below.
1) The right to gamble should be an all inclusive one.
It is fundamentally wrong that the government proposes to grant residents and citizens of The Bahamas the opportunity to gamble – but only in “web shops”. What is the difference between Sol Kerzner’s Blackjack table and Craig Flowers’ Blackjack table?
2) What exactly is “web shop” gaming?
Will the proposed taxes apply only to businesses that are licensed as “web shops” or internet cafes? How about the many restaurants and bars that are licensed as such; but yet still sell tickets in any number of stateside draws – are they web shops? If Super Value decides to start selling the Miami 3-ball at their customer service counter or their cashiers, would they now be classified as a web shop and not a Supermarket?
3) What are the requirements to becoming a licensed “web shop” operator?
Will it be open to all who qualify and wish to participate? I refuse to vote yes to a law that will discriminate against my children in the future. As it stands now, anybody can enter the industry so VOTE NO to protect my children’s future opportunities.
4) What is the proposed legislation?
I accept the fact that the government did not have to come to us with this decision and I appreciate being granted a voice in the shaping our future BUT Mr. Prime Minister, if you are going to come to me to ask my opinion, please give me all the facts.
What are the proposed taxes? Will the taxes go to a specialized fund with a board of trustees who will administer it to various social and developmental beneficiaries? Will it go to dark hole known as “the consolidated fund”? Right now the web shop operators claim they give $2.9 million per year in scholarships, donate to churches and other community causes etc. maybe that is a better deal than allowing the government to tax them….the fact is WE DON’T KNOW.
Although claiming that they “have no horse in the race” the government still has a responsibility to its citizens to outline what a YES vote will mean and what a NO vote will mean. In a perfect world, I would like to see the government NATIONALIZE the illegal numbers industry and retain the majority of profits for the sports, education, and disaster relief exclusively.
Thanks Mark for an excellent post.
Do You Agree or Disagree with Mark’s points? Why are you voting Yes/NO?