March 14, 2011
Gambling legalization for a promising future
Gambling is the act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning (including the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize). (Oxford dictionary) Many have their own opinions about gambling and at this time gambling is not legally practiced here in The Bahamas. “Such a move would bring an end to an illicit industry that makes tens of millions of dollars a year and which employs hundreds; but which contributes little to the general good of the Bahamian people.” (The Bahama Journal 2008). There are many aspects of gambling that can indeed be looked upon positively. “Gambling comes in many forms, including betting in casinos, racetracks, sporting events, lotteries, bingo games and even virtual gambling on the Internet” (Oddo 2007) Gambling should indeed be legalized, because it will help our economy and society in many ways. If gambling is practiced it’ll give persons with idle time on their hands, something to do and it can also boost our tourism industry. The legalization of gambling here in The Bahamas will lead to an increase in the Bahamas’ Gross domestic Product (GDP), an increase in employment, and finally it can contribute to our entertainment industry. The legalization of gambling would be of grave benefit for our Government as it relates to the Gross Domestic Product In an article titled ‘Legalizing gambling in The Bahamas’ written by Craig Butler his argument for gambling was that the Prime Minister Rt. Honorable Hubert Ingraham should enforce gambling and put an independent company of auditors to oversee this new development. “If gambling is to be legalized then he must cause the infrastructure to be put in place that will avoid the inevitable attempts at tampering and manipulation by ingenious persons.” (Butler 2008). Once this takes place the Government will be able to implement a taxing system with our own internal revenue service (IRS) so that a certain percentage of the money i.e. twenty five percent will go to the Government in result more money would be spent on more capital goods, meaning more school’s will be built and more work infrastructure on our roads will be carried out. In America, Statistics show that approximately 92.27 billion dollars comes from gambling on a yearly basis. If this same scenario would apply to us here in The Bahamas that will mean that gambling would be of benefit to our revenue and finance sector. Some believe that legalizing gambling would only allow the Government a free share of the money, and that share will only be spent on their own needs. They will use this money to purchase more cars for them to be chauffeured around in, to have more ‘business’ dinners for themselves, and to spend on five day trips all around the world and the economy won’t feel a dime of it. They are partially right because most people are used to politicians being voted in the House of Assembly and never coming around to visit their constituents, therefore they lack the trust in believing that the Government will deliver once they start to receive the percentage of winnings. However, they are misguided because the Government forecasts a certain percentage of money to go into capital goods every year during the budget and the normal percentage that is set aside for education and health care can rise and can be use more significantly. “But the legalization of this habit will not lead to an exponential rise in the number of gamblers. It will, however, allow government to fund programmes that can have a positive impact on our youth, such as community centres, sports and education facilities.” (Butler 2008) Mr. Butler makes it evidently clear in his analysis in the Bahama pundit that if the Government had the extra funds they would use it wisely. For example, there’s now a system set up by National Insurance for the unemployed. The unemployment benefit pays 100 dollars a week to those...
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