Talk show host Bodie says “YES” is the way to go!
I read with interest the recent contribution by Mr. Oswald Brown and former Editor of The Nassau Guardian relative to the upcoming referendum on legalizing the web shops. I too support the passage of the same. Web shops and the number houses have existed in The Bahamas for years and have operated with a large degree of impunity regardless of the ‘threat’ of criminal prosecution. Indeed, it is alleged that police officers and other members of the uniformed branches buy and play numbers just like, if not more than, ordinary citizens.
It makes absolutely no senses, both from a moral and fiscal point, to allow the operators of the web shops and number houses to get rich literally in an untaxed and unregulated industry, for that is what it has become. Thousands of Bahamians are employed within the industry; they pay NIB contributions; they support their respective houses of worship; take care of themselves and their family and generally support the national economy.
The opponents, especially the so called collective churches, say that to lay a wager is against God’s laws and that by and large Bahamians are to indiscipline to control and spend their own money when it comes down to the same. This position is so bogus that it is not even worthy of a response and is, indeed, a gross insult to the wagering population. Where is the church when it comes down to immorality and criminality in both low and high places? What does it do to alleviate under employment and high unemployment amongst its members and the general population? What is its position on alleged homosexuality and lesbianism on and around the pulpit?
As Executive Director of The National Institute for Public Policy, a non governmental think tank, I strongly urge the ‘yes’ passage of the referendum on the 3rd December, 2012. The national benefits are enormous. Those who don’t wish to lay a wager have that option. They should not, however, seek to impose their own narrow views on those who may wish to do so. Vote YES and let us collect corporate taxes on the web shops and number houses which could be used to finance badly need improvements in our infrastructure; construct new state of the art health care facilities; build new schools; expand The College of The Bahamas and the list goes on and on.
Ortland H. Bodie, Jr.