Referendum in the Bahamas for Legalizing Gambling

The beautiful West Indies island of Bahamas situated in the Lucayan Archipelago, close to the east coast of Florida is home to numerous casinos which are available only for tourists while the inhabitants of the island are forced to carry out such activities in the underground, due to the illegal status of gambling in general.

Recently an attempt has been made by the government to legalize gambling shops and the people were called in to vote in a Referendum which posed them with two questions :
– Do you want gambling shops legalized, regulated and taxed ?
– Should the government create a national lottery ?

Even the Prime Minister, Perry Christie, encouraged the citizens to vote for legalization, explaining that gambling shops illegally employ a few thousand Bahamians which could generate $20 million a year in taxes if regulated.

The Referendum results came up negative and the people decided its not in their best interest to have such activities legal, even though the turn-out was very low. With this outcome in consideration it is expected that the government will start a full-on assault in an attempt to shutdown all illegal gambling organizations, which have been thriving for years being completely ignored by the authorities.

This wasn’t a very big surprise to the citizens of the Bahamas, an island with very deep religious roots and a majority of devoted Christians. Ever since this proposition was made, it was condemned strongly by the church which stated upon finding out the result : “We are excited and thanking God.”

People on the street have the same views on the matter and mostly reflect the results, claiming that it was never publicly discussed about the negative aspects of gambling and the impact it can have on one’s social life. While in the meantime, others state that it has spread too far and now that the society has learned to tolerate it, stopping it is almost impossible.

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