Christie Surprised By Gambling Referendum Results
By Sasha Lightbourne
The Bahama Journal
Prime Minister Perry Christie admitted he was surprised by the results of the gambling referendum last week.
Mr. Christie was speaking to reporters before he headed into his weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday.
“Yes I probably was surprised by the outcome in the sense that I thought it would be a much closer election,” he said.
“I was prepared for any outcome and I tried to evidence that. The matter is before the courts now so I won’t speak to that issue but we are prepared for whatever decision is made by the courts.”
Bahamians were asked to vote on two questions – “Do you support the regulation and taxation of web shop gaming” and “Do you support the establishment of a national lottery?”
Prime Minister Christie also refuted the fact that many felt he made a mistake by having the referendum when he did.
“You never make mistakes when you are deepening democracy,” he told reporters.
“I promised before the elections that I would have a referendum. I indicated I had no horse in the race. This thing swirled with controversy and it was what it was. The people voted and I acted upon the vote. It is now a matter for the minister of national security and the attorney general.”
The majority of constituencies across the country voted ‘no’ in both questions.
Up to press time last night 43,393 voted ‘no’ and 28,787 voted ‘yes’.
Bains Town and Grants Town and Centreville were the only constituencies that voted ‘yes’.
According to Acting Parliamentary Commissioner Sherlyn Hall, ballots from some of the constituencies took up to three hours to recount and added that as the figures rolled in it grew increasingly clear that based on the votes the Bahamians are giving two thumbs down to regulating any form of gambling in the country.
“For question number one the total number of votes, unofficial figures, were 30,767 who voted yes and for the same question those who voted no were 48,012,” he said last week.
“For question number two the yes total is 32,170 and the no votes were 46,961.”
The acting parliamentary commissioner added that the recount is a mandatory requirement set out in the Parliamentary Act.
It did not take very long for the results from last week’s Monday’s gambling vote to be known, coming out just 40 minutes after the polls closed.
February 06, 2013