Christie: Bahamians NOT Really First
Perry Christie’s comments in Parliament have put the lie to the PLP’s slogan, “Bahamians First” as the discrimination against casino gambling by Bahamians in their own country will continue.
Responding indirectly to a blog post on the nation’s number one website, Prime Miniister Perry Christie said that permitting Bahamians to gamble in local casinos will not be considered in the referendum on a national lottery.
In a post titled, “What Are The Odds: Will A National Lottery Cure What Ails Us?” on The Bahamas Blog on BahamasB2B.com, the blogger questioned whether the referendum would change the discriminatory laws against Bahamians gambling in casinos, or would it merely be a distraction to “make Bahamians forget they are being discriminated against in their own country”.
Mr Christie has confirmed that it will be the latter, in essence saying that Bahamians are second-class citizens in The Bahamas and putting the lie to the PLP’s slogan, “putting Bahamians first”.
Speaking during the Budget debate in the House of Assembly yesterday, Mr Christie said the referendum will deal only with the regularisation of “number houses” and a national lottery will be the only thing up for consideration.
“As previously announced the government will hold a national referendum on the issue of web shop gaming and a national lottery,
“I will also stress that the matter will in no way whatsoever involve consideration of permitting Bahamians to gamble in any of the casinos.”
Christie also tried to get Bahamians to buy into the illusion that a national lottery will add millions to the treasury, falsely stating that the legalization of the numbers industry, “holds the potential to make an important financial contribution in support of our national economic and social priorities in years ahead.”
That is simply not true, and evidence of the foolishness of that train of thought was given in the blog post on BahamasB2B.
Mr Christie said that the referendum will be a fair and “transparent” process but he refused to provide transparency regarding the millions of dollars allegedly given to his PLP party by numbers kingpins prior to the 2012 general election.
If donations of that size were paid to the PLP by illegal webshop operators, one could construe the donations as bribes.
As it stands now, gambling is illegal in all forms for Bahamians and non-citizen residents of the Bahamas.
Some people have estimated that a national lottery could pump more than $190 million into the Bahamas economy annually. Promises of riches have been used in the United States to help pass legislation allowing state lotteries. However, all of the states that have lotteries have the same financial problems they had before the lotteries were created, proving that there is little financial benefit from lotteries.
It has also been proven that lotteries create serious social problems, which in a society as dysfunctional as The Bahamas, would prove extremely dangerous.
There are currently 16 illegal numbers houses in New Providence, another six in Grand Bahama and a few spread throughout the Family Islands.
Due to generous financial contributions (bribes) to politicians and high-ranking police officers, the illegal numbers kingpins operate with impunity. Occasionally, raids are staged to appease the Christian Council. But no punishment has ever been meted out.
The Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) has gone on record opposing the legalization of gambling in any form in the Bahamas.
The BCC said they think the government should come up with alternative solutions to produce and create wealth in our country.casinos, corruption, gambling, law, liars, PLP