A political blog about Bahamian politics in The Bahamas, Bahamian Politicans - and the entire Bahamas political lot. Bahamian Blogger Dennis Dames keeps you updated on the political news and views throughout the islands of The Bahamas without fear or favor.
Bahamian Politicians and the Bahamian Political Arena: Updates one Post at a time on Bahamas Politics and Bahamas Politicans.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Catholic Archbishop - His Grace The Most Rev Patrick Pinder on Web Shops, Illegal Gambling in The Bahamas, Decriminalising the Numbers Business for Bahamian Operators of Gaming Business and their Patrons ...and the Upcoming Referendum on Gambling
BAHAMIANS need to
know exactly what happens in web shops if they are to make informed
decisions in the upcoming referendum on gambling.
the verdict of Catholic Archbishop Patrick Pinder, who says it is vital
to know where the law now stands when it comes to web shops.
his pastoral reflection ‘Illegal Gambling in The Bahamas’, he aims to
further the national conversation on decriminalising the numbers
business for Bahamian operators of gaming business and their patrons,
and to present a reflection on the need to bring about a more beneficial
relationship between the Church and the culture.
says that to craft worthwhile responses to national challenges, the
country must begin with an honest assessment of where it is.
To that end, the rules on web shops must be cleared up, he says.
said: “How many Bahamians frequent these establishments to play games
of chance? Who are they? How much do they spend per day, per week, per
year? Is it disposable income, or does the spending contribute to
domestic challenges in terms of stressing family relations or finances?
it, or is it not, time to change the law in order to effectively
regulate a behaviour which is illegal, lawless, long-standing and
“This activity continues boldly and publicly without apparent regard and respect for or fear of the current law?
would be the nature of the proposed law intended to regulate the
illegal lottery. Surely we deserve to be assured by public authority
that the law will be enforced regardless of the outcome of the
referendum,” he said.
that games of chance, in themselves, do not constitute an evil,
Archbishop Pinder said that the Catechism goes on to make it abundantly
clear that games of chance however “can lead to evil.”
Catechism, he said, also explains that such activities become morally
unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide
for his needs or for those of others.
A passion for gambling, therefore risks “becoming an enslavement.”
truth of the latter statement is clear when many Bahamians spend days
sitting before computers in web shops, at work or at home for the slim
chance of winning a fortune that will help them to rise above their
troubles. That many of those who wager on games of chance are often
single, unemployed mothers gives rise to further concern. Such
activities are wrong for both women and men, if they play numbers to the
neglect of their homes and families, their jobs, their personal and
civic responsibilities. This is the real problem,” he said.
The Archbishop said that no matter how small someone’s income is, it is far better to “save regularly than to gamble regularly.”
in excess has a great potential for generating intemperate behaviour
and for many, addictions. It is from intemperance and addiction that
many societal ills arise. Therein lies the real danger of permitting
gaming that is an unregulated, free-for-all. It is our duty to take
whatever measures lie in our power to help Bahamians avoid the potential
and dangerous pitfalls of gaming or any activity that could lead to
harm for the individual or society.”
Bahamians must be armed with the facts, said the Archbishop.
This, in his estimation, is the most productive course of action otherwise a referendum becomes an “empty exercise.”
with statistics, our decisions or commitments regarding gambling become
more defensible. This is the kind of democratic action that accords
well with a Christian perspective. After all, faith is the friend of
reason,” he said.