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Hall: Web Shop Legalisation Was Inevitable

Days before Tourism and Gaming Minister Obie Wilchombe announced in the House of Assembly that the government plans to regulate web shop gaming by July 1, long time proponent of taxing the now illegal businesses Bishop Simeon Hall told The Journal that despite what the Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) has been saying, this move was inevitable.

Minister Wilchcombe said too much time has been wasted on this debate and noted that in two weeks, he plans to table the proposed regulations to make regularised web shops official by July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.
“Gambling is as common as conch fritters in our Bahamas,” Bishop Hall said. “All I’m saying is, some form of regularisation should take place. So that, one, those who are addicted to it, if there is an umbrella of regularisation, they could be treated.
“I think regularisation (was) almost inevitable in our society.”
Since Minister Wilchcombe’s announcement Wednesday night, many who have staunchly opposed the government’s move to tax and regulate the billion dollar underground industry have come forth with harsh criticism for the government.

But Bishop Hall said their argument is weakened by the fact that many who were once opposed to the idea are now championing the cause for legalisation, even some pastors.

“Several leaders of denomination have said so,” he added.

“At a meeting about three weeks ago about 35 pastors who were against the regularisation when (the prime minister) spoke they finally said, ‘I now see what you’re saying.’ The Christian Council has always been divided. In the 1960s the church was, even then against gambling, and I understand that but the society we have now is certainly different from that one.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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