Government and Opposition Must Settle Web Shop Issue

Thursday 20th, March 2014 / 10:13 Published by
Referendum on gambling

Referendum on gambling

On January 30 last year — two days after less than half the voting public said “no” to the legalisation of webshops— The Tribune’s headline read: “PM: Webshops must close now.”

“In keeping with my Government’s commitment to abide by the will of the electorate as expressed on Monday’s referendum,” said Prime Minister Christie, “it has now become necessary to effect the closure of all webshop gaming operations in The Bahamas.

“Accordingly, all offending webshop owners and operators are placed on notice that all their gaming operations, including all online gaming and the numbers games, must cease with immediate effect. Failure to do so will leave all such webshop owners, operators and webshop gaming patrons exposed to arrest and criminal prosecution without further notice or warning,” he said.

Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade followed the PM’s lead with a statement that his forces were “mounting an operation” to close the gambling dens. In the meantime, webshop owners went to the Supreme Court for a declaration that their operations were not regulated by the Lotteries and Gaming Act and, therefore, should be allowed to continue in business.

In just over a year, government legislators have woven such a tangled web that we shall leave it to them to extricate themselves from their many contradictions.

We now have an illegal system making unbelievable amounts of money that local banks refuse to accept. Already, tremendous mischief is afoot.

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