Oswald Brown Writes

I AM VOTING YES FOR THE REFERENDUM: I’m still trying to understand why there now seems to be a growing campaign in support of VOTING NO on the upcoming referendum on the legalization of the numbers game. All these detractors are doing is supporting the hypocritical members of the Bahamas Christian Council, who have now being emboldened to predict that the referendum will be defeated.

Oswald Brown

Clearly, a defeat of the referendum will not mean that Bahamians who play the numbers regularly will stop using this outlet to try and win between $800 and $900 on a $1 investment; in many cases this is the only hope for some people who have difficulty making ends meet financially.

What the defeat of the referendum would mean is that the status quo would remain and operators of numbers houses will continue to enrich themselves by raking in unbelievable sums of money from their illegal enterprise. This makes absolutely no sense to me because trust me, if this referendum is defeated the issue of legalizing gambling in The Bahamas for Bahamians will never again be left up to the people to decide via a referendum.

As someone who plays the numbers daily, I too wish that the referendum would have addressed the broader question of the introduction of a national lottery and whether Bahamians should be allowed to gamble in our casinos, but the government, apparently on “sound advice,” decided against doing that. This being the case, I think that the sensible thing for proponents of this proposition to do is vote overwhelming in favour of the referendum on December 3 and let’s get our “feet in the door,” so to speak, to push and lobby harder to correct the blatant injustice inherent in Bahamians not being able to gamble in our casinos.
The fact of the matter is that the “numbers game” in this country has become so sophisticated and electronically controlled that it is virtually impossible to enforce the law prohibiting the operation of web shops. To attempt to do so would require a commitment of a special task force of far too many police officers, which surely would result in far more serious “crimes” being allowed to continue to flourish in this country.

It would surprise many of you to know how many people use the convenience of their homes to play the numbers daily on their computers. Actually, it is this segment of our society who will ensure that the referendum passes and send the hypocrites in the Bahamas Christian Council a clear message on December 3 that they should go about their business of saving souls for the Lord and stop “playing selective politics” with issues of this nature.

I’m certainly voting YES in favour of the referendum on December 3, and I would hope that the army of “silent” supporters of the numbers game would do likewise in huge numbers.