It is apparent that since the new Gaming Bill that is about to be tabled in Parliament was being drafted at the same time the gaming “referendum” campaign was being held, the Prime Minister and his government were convinced the people would vote yes, and thus he would be able to don the white hat and usher in gaming for Bahamians as well as enhanced gaming options for our hotel casinos “on the people’s expressed will”.
But the people overwhelmingly rejected his campaign, and he still had to go ahead with this Bill for the hotels because he already promised it to them – thus now putting his government in the quagmire it 100% deserves because it caused this on itself. Had the Prime Minister simply did what he was elected to do – GOVERN and make changes to the Lotteries and Gaming Act that would legalise gaming for Bahamians, instead of fooling around with an illegal and shambolic opinion poll, the situation now considered untenable by sectors of the population would not exist.
I’ve said this multiple times in multiple columns and blog posts – the government is still in campaign mode. Every major initiative of theirs thus far is a political charade masquerading as an act of governance. You cannot want the government but don’t want to govern. What we have now is the consequence of the same.
I have no issue whatsoever with our country’s resorts being able to remain competitive in the casino market. Since the government is facilitating our hotel casinos in this vein by an act of Parliament (the power they always had without need for a referendum), then they should have manned up on the colossal fraud and political blunder they perpetrated in the form of their gaming opinion poll, in order to also deal legislatively with the issue of gaming for Bahamians.
Because the reality is that many people who voted no to the government’s opinion poll did not vote no because they wanted to see gaming eliminated for Bahamians, but because they were rejecting the government’s campaign on the matter, a campaign whose illegal opinion poll did not have the ability to affect the country’s gaming laws no matter how the people voted.