29 October 2008

Gambling Away Our Future

Recently the Government announced that it is sponsoring a study on gambling in Bermuda, that will, usefully, be carried out by a firm that makes its money advising people on how to successfully implement gambling. So no surprises how that will turn out.

Gambling in a Bermuda is a bad idea. It won't solve any of our important problems, but it will aggravate many of our existing problems and bring new ones.

Will gambling improve our educational system? NO

Will gambling reduce crime & usher in more cooperation between our people and the police? NO

Will gambling make our country more palatable for international business? NO

Will gambling reduce the frustration of under-educated Bermudians who watch the glittering world of international business and 'platinum' tourists glide by and wonder why they can't find a place to live and a job that will help them pay that rent? NO

Will gambling help our families rebuild themselves? NO

What will gambling do, you must be asking? It's simple, and the OPC has got most of it down. At the end of the day, the sole positive thing (and this has been debated through the ages) gambling will bring is more money to the island. It will bring more jobs, but not for Bermudians: the hospitality industry on this island is already stuffed to the gills with non-Bermudians. That industry cannot survive while paying Bermudians the salaries they need to live the life they can pay for doing something else.

Gambling will also highlight and increase the gap between rich & poor; increase the incentive for crime; and, very importantly, stress our natural and technological infrastructure.

So, why is the Government pushing this? The answer to this is also simple: they are thinking only about how to get more money to spend. They see spending money as an exercise of power & ambition, and because they aren't very good leaders in the true sense of the word, it's the only way they know how to lead and influence people. And, of course, they get their cut too...

Like so much else in this world, all you need to do is follow the money...

This post brought to you by ten minutes of madness.


Anonymous said...

Your post implies that there is no gambling in Bermuda already. But there is. For example, you could sit in Seahorses, next to the Little Theatre, betting on dogs and horses all day long. Why would having casinos make things any worse? Or slot machines, for that matter?

Anonymous said...

And you'll note that many of those betting establishments are on the list for not paying their taxes.

Douglas S. J. De Couto said...

Well, that's a bit nitpicking. For 'gambling' in the article, read 'large-scale casino gambling with slots and/or gaming table'. Crown and Anchor I exempt on cultural grounds, but I am not comfortable with how some people blow their money there (and it's a particularly losing game for the gambler).

As for Seahorses, in fact they did have a smash & run theft of their money from the security guards a few years ago on the street.

Turn your question around: giving the potential downsides of gambling, why would they make anything better in Bermuda?

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