23 Responses to “What Are The Odds: Will A National Lottery Cure What Ails Us?”

  1. Robin Roberts says:

    My Dear Countryman/countrywomen, We should fear praising Caesar and it may be wise to bury him. We have a major public health crisis lurking in the shadows that is being overlooked in this gambling /lottery legalization debacle. I speak of non other than Gambling Addiction!

    This is a well-defined and well-recognized mental disease. Estimates of the number of people who gamble socially qualify for being diagnosed with a gambling addiction range up to 5% of a population. I would venture to say that have an estimated 20,000 gambling addicts in this country.

    “Harmful effects that compulsive gambling can have on the individual include financial problems ranging from high debt, bankruptcy or poverty, to legal problems resulting from theft to prostitution, to wanting, attempting or completing suicide. Gambling addiction can have a multitude of negative effects on the family. Statistics indicate that families of people with compulsive gambling are more likely to experience domestic violence and child abuse. Children of problem gamblers are at significantly higher risk of suffering from depression behavior problems, and substance abuse. One of the challenges of treatment of compulsive gambling is that as many as two-thirds of people who begin treatment for this disorder discontinue treatment prematurely, whether treatment involves medication, therapy or both.”

    The number houses are smack in the middle of the inner city with the highest level of poverty, illegal drug use and crime. Another three stooges. Seems like we have quite a family.

    Gambling addiction is a silent public health issue that has been swept under the rug: How high does the dirt have to pile up before we see the pestilence emerge?

  2. Blogger says:

    The Counsellors, a local PR firm, has indirectly responded to this blog post. Read the response to their comments here.

  3. lillian mcphe says:

    It will not cure what ails us but it will surely HELP

  4. lillian mcphe says:

    We will not stop bahamians from buying the lottery.
    some persons have a business of going over to miami once a week to purchase lottery tickets. so you close flowers then the money just goes out of the country. I say put it to the people and let them decide their course. 2) The national lottery will benefit the country in many ways – the govt. will have some funds to work with in any area needed – it will keep more funds in the country – some persons loose but some also wins- sometimes things are sweeter when u have 2 sneak – but u outright give it to them – many may turn away from gambling. when the money goes into the church collection, the pastor dont ask where it came from. almost everything in life is a gamble, even in the christian community – the preachers preach to get money and more money – So just let God be the judge of us all.

    • Stop and think says:

      And how much of Flowers’ money do you think stays in the Bahamas? You obviously are not familiar with Bahamian banking rules that mandate that funds from illegal activities may not be deposited.

      Profits from the numbers houses are not only bleeding poor Bahamians purses, but the purse of the entire country as it streams out by whichever route they can find.

      • Blogger says:

        I don’t know about that. I hear Mr Flowers pays National Insurance on his web shop employees. I’m wondering how that happens. Do drug dealers pay National Insurance on the little kids they hire to sell cocaine on the street?

  5. Macgregor Robertson says:

    If all the money collected goes to education and the teachers’ promotions and any bonuses are tied to their students’ performance it will be a good thing

  6. J. V. Isaacs says:

    The problems in the society will not be made better by any amount of money dispensed: education, illegitimacy, poor work ethic, etc..

    In Jamaica, during the 1980’s, a national lottery was established, with the money going towards sports. It was administered through the Min. of Finance, with large sums of money being collected. In the 1990’s, it was abolished, through the influence of the Christian Council. Eventually, it was reintroduced, but, operated by private concerns, with a portion being paid to the Government, as taxes. Of course, the vast majority of the money goes to the owners.

    If the people of The Bahamas want a national lottery, they should first make sure it is operated by the Min. of Finance, and that, all the proceeds are used for the restructuring of the education system on the lines of the reports already in the hands of the Min. of Education, and, not frittered away on further studies, or used for other purposes. It is time to hold a government accountable.

  7. JJSherman says:

    Like my dearly departed Mom used to say, may she rest in peace. I quote “Monkey see monkey do monkey ass in trouble too.” What the people of the Bahamas, need to do is simply pray about this, for as you know just about everything that man does comes to nothing but destruction. And given the HISTORY of Government, things have not really been concrete in the Bahamas. Keeping it real.

  8. Lotto Lover says:

    Numbers money does good in Bahamas. Craig Flowers gave $100,000 to NEMA a year or so ago.

    • Blogger says:

      I wonder if ‘Ninety’ Knowles had given $100,000 to NEMA, would he still have been extradited to the United States?

  9. R.D.S. says:

    Lottery money will stay in Bahamas. Keeping the existing laws regarding casino gambling is good because most of that money disappears overseas and any gambling money spent there would only go to enrich other countries and foreign institutions.

  10. Cheryl says:

    Considering that there is a web shop on just about every corner EXISTING and FUNCTIONING DAILY; too many policemen, customs and immigration officers and other law officers purchase number tickets in their uniform and numbers, lottery, whatever you want to call it, will be with us like sin until the end of time, STOP the talk and legalize numbers and make it benefit our people and country.

    It is embarassing for this country that people are not respecting the law, so lets remove this, yet another black mark, and bury it. The poor are going to misuse their funds anyway either on rum, gambling, lottery, sexing and more, so might as well have a fund that can help them rather than all go to the webshop owners.

    The fund should be used for education, roads, the poor, AIDS victims, the sick, hurricane relief, etc.

    It should be policed and computerized in the control functions.

    The Christian Counsel is a hyprocritical body and the members are deliberately giving more focus on this weaker moral issue. What they should scream more about are the social ills that are more damaging and deep rooted problems in the country, such as lack of interest in education, respect, honesty, genuine friendliness and ambition, homosexuality, incest, murder and rape.

    It is sad, but legal or not, it is here to stay so legalize it and make it work for the country. Lets get on with the murder, eduction and agriculture problems. My five cents.

  11. One does not stop gambling by criminalizing it but rather just makes a way for those that prey on others to have another outlet.

    However, with that said, when it comes to a national lottery I am for it.

    Years ago, a very privileged lady told me a story about her maid. The maid would come in each day and ask to see the paper so she could see the number that was being used for the numbers racket. I think it was something to do with stock trading or such. My friend chastised her maid for squandering money in such a manner. The maid replied, “Miss Nancy, each day you get up looking forward to a wonderful day and a great life. I get up every day looking forward to cleaning your toilets. This 50 cent numbers bet is a slim chance that I can have a better life and gives me something to look forward to each day that does not include being on my knees.”

    As slim as the chance is for some it is a bright spot. You can let criminals profit from that, or you can help provide services back to the people who indulge, but you can not stop it.

  12. Linda says:

    I was for the lottery in thinking that we may as well legalize the numbers racket, that is so prevalent in our society, in that the money would possibly go to education and we could continue to improve our infrastructure etc. Your research and comments have made me think in a whole new way, thanks for going out on the limb to educate me!

    • hopeful says:

      I agree. The analysis in this entire article has made me even more certain legalizing any form of gambling is a mistake. If we do this what will be next? Perhaps we should legalize drugs too? It has sickened me (a British expat) for numerous years that both governments lock up and waste the time of our courts if they catch a young man (a police record will mean little chance of employment!) smoking marijuana, yet turn a blind eye to the illegal gambling which is now out of control. (Rank hypocrisy.)

      You can be sure the money from the FML web-shops is maintaining Craig Flowers $10,000,000 home on PI and allowing him to live a lavish lifestyle. Of course he will throw a few “donations” here and there just for good measure, and public relations purposes. (Possibly to appease our politicians, as many Bahamians have suggested already.)

      Before voting in a referendum we must think about the desperate folk spending money they can’t afford dreaming of something “better” while their children go hungry. Is this REALLY something we should encourage? I agree with confiscating the ill-gotten gains of those who have been living “high on the hog” for far too long while others continue to suffer. A recent thought provoking letter to the Tribune on June 7th, written by Rev Fr Theodore Hunt was also extremely insightful, and I advise anyone who hasn’t read it to do so. 🙁

      • Blogger says:

        The rank hypocrisy you mention is most disturbing and is behind many of our biggest social ills. Also, the fact that drug dealers were legitimized in the 80’s has created enormous social problems for this country. It is no wonder that young Bahamians have such a problem telling right from wrong, or identifying role models. To pretend that the numbers kingpins are anything but the criminals they are is outrageous and will only exacerbate the problem. The reason PM Christie feels obligated to hold a referendum is because the numbers boys contributed heavily to his campaign. That is morally wrong, a form of bribery. Thank you for your comment.

  13. Sam Moree says:

    This article has blown away a lot of ignorance in my own mind about how national lotteries “benefited” states in the US. I absolutely agree that our problem does not seem to be attracting money rather our lack of stewardship. I know its not special to the Bahamas but its still extremely sad because it is.

    Oh… Prosecuting “illegal” numbers rackets – lol. Is it really still illegal? Surely not…forgive my ignorance once again because I know there is plenty. The gov’t wouldn’t allow a web shop on every corner and public sponsorships if it were…would it?

    A lot of really interesting points have been raised and personally I thank you for taking the time to put it together. Need to come back and reread.

    • hopeful says:

      Another convert I see! I wish to thank the author at this time too for committing so much time to research, which has enlightened many of us. Bahamians need to be reminded if we are to consider ourselves a “Christian nation”, scripture (also common sense) tells us we must “work” if we wish to eat. Gambling only makes us “dreamers and takers” and doesn’t encourage good work ethic or morality.

  14. Christine says:

    I agree that gambling of any kind undermines good work ethics, which we already have a serious problem with in The Bahamas. We need more people putting money into savings accounts rather than buying lottery tickets.

    • hopeful says:

      Don’t forget “tithing” and offering those less fortunate a helping hand lest we also become greedy and self serving.

  15. Jimmy K. says:

    Would a national lottery benefit society or ruin society? Probably neither. I think it gives people a reason to dream even though it may actually be working against them.

    Never thought about the casinos though, I wonder if Bahamians WILL be allowed to gamble in the casinos or if we will still be barred. Interesting.

    • Stoneman says:

      If gambling was rationalized; not”legalized” (it already is, but the law simply discriminates against Bahamians) there would not necessarily be crowds of rowdy, unwashed Bahamians rudely elbowing tourists aside in hotel casinos. There would presumably be numerous licensed local joints where the natives can gamble.

      So we should just shitcan all “The niggers are coming over the bridge” rhetoric…