According to the Boston Globe, a referendum next month will decide if some forms of gambling will be legalised in the Bahamas. But, warns Caribbean Cruise Line, scams known as “web shops” are currently the only way for islanders to participate in this pastime.
In a recent article, The Boston Globe reports on the Bahamian prime minister’s announcement regarding next month’s gambling referendum. The referendum will decide whether some forms of legalised gambling will be permitted for citizens of the Bahamas. The archipelago, located east of Florida, currently does not allow its citizens to gamble.
Bahamians are also barred from gambling in the casinos located on the islands’ tourist resorts. However, underground gambling operations known as “web shops” still exist, where islanders bet on numbers in televised U.S. lotteries. They have become increasingly popular.
Says Robert Mitchell, president of Caribbean Cruise Line, “Scams abound in these settings, where there is no government regulation. Our passengers often enjoy gambling at tourist casinos, but we advise them not to seek out or participate in any ‘web shop’ activities.”
Prime Minister Perry Christie announced Thursday that the referendum will take place on December 3rd, 2012. If it passes, underground gambling houses will be legalised, regulated, and taxed.
Continues Robert Mitchell of Caribbean Cruise Line, “Scams may die out when gambling is legalised. It seems as if many Bahamians want to be allowed to gamble legally, and if this is the case, the referendum will pass. This will make it safer for everyone to gamble.”
According to Christie, the measure would generate $20 million a year in taxes if it passes. If it is rejected, however, he has vowed to shut down illegal gambling.
The Bahamas are home to a powerful church lobby, which is opposed to legalising gambling for people who live on the archipelago.