Categorized | National News

Top Cop On Gambling: Work Cut Out For Us

Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade says it does not matter how Bahamians vote in this month’s gambling referendum as the police will have their work cut out for them no matter what.

“[It doesn’t matter] whether people say ‘no’ or ‘yes’ because the reality is whatever happens we’re going to have to look at how it’s policed,” he said on Monday during a Meet the Press news conference.

The government is holding a national referendum on January 28 – one that will allow Bahamians to decide whether they want web shops legalised in the country.

Proponents believe the country could benefit from their legalisation as the government could tax and licence the organisations and use the money to fund social and educational programmes.

Opponents, however, believe it could lead to further social decay.

Many critics have questioned whether the police force has the capability to enforce the law and shut down the web shops if Bahamians vote against legalising them.

“If it remains illegal; I have to go after it. That’s a lot of things to go after and if it is legal and has to be regulated, we have to ensure that the regulation is followed. You can almost think about it like fisheries in the country – you have the closed season and open season. And so while we’re not on the frontline looking at that because you have fisheries officers these are the things that have to been forced and we have to be mindful of it and render the necessary support,” Commissioner Greenslade said.

“It’s a very difficult issue and there’s no way to sidestep it because it’s illegal on the books in The Bahamas. But it is so widespread it is almost ubiquitous to the extent that it is computer-based and you can now have a computer in your bedroom or in your home [and gamble]. It’s not going away. We have an obligation to enforce the law.”

The commissioner said he believes some of his police officers take part in the illegal practice.

However, he said he does not engage in gambling.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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