Categorized | National News

PM Bucks Advice, Includes Nat’l Lotto

Now that the question of whether the country should institute a national lottery will be added to the upcoming gambling referendum, Prime Minister Perry Christie outlined how it would be carried out if voted for.

While on the campaign trail, Mr. Christie promised to institute a national lottery, but after London consultants advised him not to, he scrapped plans to include that question on the ballot.

After weeks of criticism and being called a flip flopper, Mr. Christie on Tuesday night announced that he now plans to add the national lottery question on the ballot and on Wednesday he went into detail about how this would take place if the majority of Bahamians voted in its favour in the January 28 referendum.

“The mechanism for introducing a commercially-run lottery would be to put the appropriate legislation in place in the event of a ‘yes’ vote and then to invite tenders from commercial lottery operators to set out the basis on which they would operate the lottery,” he said.

“The invitation to tender would provide flexibility to potential operators to operate the lottery in the most beneficial way so as to maximise returns to the government, maximise returns to the good causes, players and the operator, while maintain all of the appropriate protections for players.”

The prime minister added that the option still remains for the government to promote and operate a national lottery itself, with the appropriate input from external providers.

He said such a state-sponsored national lottery might even be based on the principle of widely-held public ownership that thousands of ordinary Bahamians would have direct equity stake in through shares.

Initially, UK consultants Dixon, Wilson and Co. advised the prime minister not to include a national lottery on the ballot for several reasons, which included the country’s proximity to the United States’ huge lottery jackpot, human greed and the fact that Bahamians are likely to spend their gaming dollars where they can win big, among others.

And according to a consultant from the UK firm, James Kidgell, apart from those issues, a local lottery would need participation in one form or another from commercial enterprises.

“Based on the figures that we would expect the lottery to generate, it seems difficult to see how a commercial enterprise would see the returns that they would expect,” Mr. Kidgell said.

When asked how the consultants feel about the government’s decision to consider a national lottery despite their recommendations, Mr. Kidgell said the government has simply made a political decision.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook