Anti-gamblers gather support

| 02/06/2010

(CNS): Although the premier has said he is willing to support a public vote on the introduction of gambling to the Cayman Islands, those who are against it have not changed their minds and are now mobilizing the community’s opposition to a legalised lottery. In a matter of just days the Cayman Ministers Association drew more than 1,200 signatures against gambling versus the pro-petition organised by Gilbert McLean, which drew less then five hundred over several months.  Despitethe boost to the pro-position from the National Investment Council, which recommended government review the gambling laws in order to attract much needed new revenue, there is still considerable opposition in Cayman to any form of gambling.

Opposition to the idea of a national lottery as well as licensed casinos is being coordinated by the Cayman Ministers Association but the objections are not confined to religious ones. There is also political opposition from members of the People’s Progressive Movement, who have always stood against legalised gambling, and from other members of the community that consider gambling a tax on the poor and detrimental to society.
The resurgence of the opposition to gambling has been galvanised by the CMA as a result of a renewed push by those in favour, but this time there is a legal mechanism under the Constitution to pave the way for a referendum. Talkshow host Gilbert McLean set out to gather enough signatures last year to instigate the first people’s referendum to introduce a national lottery. However he did not gather enough signatures to automatically trigger a referendum, which requires the support of 25% of registered voters, but McLean still handed the petition to the premier as government can hold a referendum outside of those parameters.
More recently a number of private sector bodies, such as CITA, the Chamber of Commerce, CIREBA and Cayman Finance, as well as a various private sector individuals, recently got behind a National Investment Council proposition to overturn the gambling laws and introduce a national lottery or limited gaming licenses as one of a number of revenue raising measures to counter the concept of taxation. (See clarifying statement from CITA and also see clarifying statement from Chamber)
With the illegal numbers game already being played regularly in Cayman and generating income for the black market, there is considerable support from the private sector to re-direct the earnings from the criminal underworld to the Treasury.
Independent MLA for North Side, Ezzard Miller, also supports the introduction of legalised gambling. "I support the introduction of both the national lottery and casinos under licence by government, but not operated by government, with heavy licensing fees that are a percentage of gross revenue as high as maybe 35% for the operators and 15% for the winners," Miller told CNS. 
Although the premier has said he is willing to put the subject to the vote, McKeeva Bush has not yet said whether he personally supports reversing the gaming laws or whether the UDP is supporting the idea and says it is a matter of personal conscience.
Those who are against the concept say legitimising a criminal enterprise does not make it right and that with gambling comes a host of social problems that will outweigh any financial gain to government, from increased bankruptcies to suicides.
Rev Nicholas Sykes, a member of the CMA who spoke with CNS this week, said that there is overwhelming evidence that it increases crime and creates wide social problems. “Legitimising any negative activity will increase and validate it,” he said. “Support of gambling by the authorities is not going to make it right; it will just make the impact on society worse.” Sykes also said that where gambling is introduced it is rarely of any significant financial benefit to the community as it is usually just a limited number of operators who gain from the profits and the wider community simple suffers from the crime and poverty that comes with it.
Sykes said that those in the opposition campaign were hoping the government would maintain the status quo regarding the law but if there was to be a public vote he hoped it would be done via the constitutional provision of a referendum, where only registered voters were able to participate rather than a national poll, which could include people not on the electoral register, as had been suggested.
Pastor Al Ebanks, the chair of the Constitutional Review Committee, a long time campaigner against the concept of gambling and a former president of CMA, said he would be happy to see an official referendum but having done a considerable amount of research on the downside to gambling he hoped the people would be well informed about the negative effects before participating in a national vote.
“Wherever it is legalised there is always an increase in crime, suicides and a breakdown of families,” Pastor Al said. “I would support the idea of a referendum and would want to see a campaign to inform the people of the Cayman Islands about the very real negative impact it would have on our society. People talk about the financial benefit from the fees but they are not necessarily talking about the real cost.”
The PPM is also against the legalisation of gambling, a position former education minister Alden McLaughlin said the party has always held, but he too says that he would support the idea of a referendum on the subject. “We have always taken a position against legalised gambling and there has been no reason presented to change that but we do support a referendum,” he said. “Following a referendum, despite the party’s position, whatever the outcome we would be duty bound by that democratic decision.”
The opposition to gambling is also supported by other sectors of the community.
Local small business owner and community activist Billy Adam is also very much against the introduction of any form of legalised gambling as he says he is concerned about the corruption which is invariably associated with all gambling.
"Gambling in general is really a tax on the poor; this is specifically true of the lottery racket.  Those who can least afford it suffer the most from the diversion of funds for taking care of their families’ needs," he said.  
“To legalise gambling, be it lottery or casino, will be rewarding criminals by legitimising what is now a crime.  In the Cayman Islands the gambling criminals control many political candidates and MLAs, they may now soon be rewarded when the crime of gambling is legalised, and shamefully supported by some in the business community. Legalising gambling would be further retreating from being a law abiding community to a criminal appeasingcommunity, and all who want to stop the decline of the Cayman Islands must fight against all who would reward criminals by legalising any form of gambling.”
Adam asked, “What common crime will politicians want to legalise next — no parking, speeding, theft, drugs, rape or murder?”
He said that the revised Constitution should have had a section specifically stating “No form of legal gambling in the Cayman Islands” and that this should now be the referendum subject. 
“It was interesting to note that in the just completed revision to the UK’s Cayman Islands Constitution no political or private sector groups vocally joined in the request from some of us to include the Constitutional no gambling provision,” Adam added.
The CMA is continuing to circulate its petition to back up the representations that have been made to government regarding the position of those who are against the legalisation of any form of gambling, which includes either a national lottery or casinos.  
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  1. Chamber of Commerce says:

    From the chamber: In response to a (the) article published (Tuesday) by Cayman News Service headed ‘Anti-Gamblers Gather Support’ the following is a statement issued by the Chamber of Commerce:

    The Chamber of Commerce has met with the previous and current government administration on several occasions regarding expenditure cuts and new revenue measures. In an initial meeting dated September 2009, one of the new revenue measures recommended by the Chamber as worthy of exploration was a National Lottery.  This in no way constitutes an ‘across the board’ endorsement of the issuing of gambling licenses in the Cayman Islands.

    We would also like to clarify that, while the Chamber Council supported many of the points outlined, the Chamber of Commerce was not a signatory on the letter presented by the National Investment Council and that a separate statement was issued by the Chamber in response, with the following recommendations. Please note that there is no mention or endorsement of the issuing of gambling licenses.

    “The Chamber strongly opposed any additional revenue measures which would further increase the cost of doingbusiness in the Cayman Islands along with the introduction of any additional general corporate or any form of taxes on income, interbank transactions, payroll or property without a definitive plan to cut costs and reduce debt,. In terms of future business development, the Chamber expressed its support for the development of cruise berthing and a mega yacht facility, relocation of the cargo facilities, medical tourism development, convention facilities, waterfront redevelopment in George Town and attracting the reinsurance and captive insurance sector and additional private trust business”

    The Chamber would like to state again that direct taxation is not the answer to remedy our budgetary challenges. As outlined in the meeting of September 2009 and many previous meetings with Government and Chamber Council Members, the following recommendations still hold true as the most effective course of action: Controlling expenditure, Reducing Government debt and Controlling costs.

  2. Joe bananas says:

    Anyone who has bought a house or land in Cayman is gambling and you can see how that is going.  Wih they had outlawed that before I bought!

  3. Trina Christian says:

     On behalf of the CITA and it’s members I wanted to clarify and provide a correction to article that states:

    "More recently a number of private sector bodies, such as CITA, the Chamber of Commerce, CIREBA and Cayman Finance, as well as a various private sector individuals, recently got behind a National Investment Council proposition to overturn the gambling laws and introduce a national lottery or limited gaming licenses as one of a number of revenue raising measures to counter the concept of taxation"

    Our members have mixed views on this topic (some for, some against, some in the middle) and therefore our position with relation to Casinos and Gaming is that we recommend

    "Initiating and Facilitating informed debate and support a Referendum." as stated on our blog http://www.caymantourism2020.com.

     

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    All this talk about the morality of charity raffles is irrelevant. What casino gambling brings, as night follows the day, is prostitution and loan sharking. A lottery is a different question. It’s simple to hire an operator and to tax the heck out of it.

    • Dred says:

      WOWZA. Now that is reaching.

      Is desperation setting in? Maybe because we have Gambling here Nasa will set up a launch pad to launch the shuttles. I mean the two go together right?

      Come on people stop grasping at straws. Put up at the very least and intelligent arguement.

      No. Gambling as in a notaional lottery and a casino does not mean prostitution or loan sharking. The law can be drafted to state exactly what is being allowed.

      And if you want to talk loan sharking we already have that now. Have you seen those interest rates they are charging us at the banks compared to what we get? WOW.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s pretty apparent, Dred, that you haven’t been to Las Vegas or Atlantic City, or even New Orleans or Illinois, if you think that prostitution and loan sharking (the real thing, with broken knees and such) is not associated with the presence of the casinos. One would gather you are looking forward to experiencing these new things locally. 

        • Dred says:

          The last time I thought about stuff I was thinking about the Cayman Islands the place where I call home. We are talking about introducing gambling but I see no where, where we mentioned prostitution. That is your naive mind going crazy.

          • Anonymous says:

            NO DRED, it is your mind going crazy – Yes we will have all of thoes evil Caymanian society destroying things occuring – but I guess that you will say that it make money and jobs so let’s do it – money and jobs, Dred is that all that matters to you.

  5. Raffaele says:

    Since the clergy have gathered to say no to legal gambling in the Cayman Islands as a means of raising revenue.The church needs to give up all those exemptions & concessions it receives from H.M.Customs in which the whole islands knows how that old system works.The time has come as they say What is Ceasar’s must be rendered on to Ceasar . So pay up Cayman Minister Association.

    • Rosalee Reyes says:

      Now this is true.  The churches do not give up a dime to help the people, or schools,

      • Anonymous says:

        That is also false. My church has various charitable endeavours. A number of churches themselves own and run schools, e.g. RC Church, United Church, Church of God (Chapel), Church of God (Universal), SDA Church, Wesleyan Church. In a number of cases the cost of education is heavily subsidized by the churches.

        Your comments seem to be malicious.      

  6. for real. says:

    If you really want NO Gambleing in Cayman vote yes,  Then watch Government steal from it (they can’t help it its what they do), remove all credibility and fairness (same thing) and no one will play.  End of Gambleing in Cayman.

  7. Certified says:

    Should the teaching and use of probability and statistics be banned in Cayman?

    The early work that was the foundations of these mathematical tools was done to understand gambling in France in the 1600’s.
    Many financial products are valued using these tools; should they be banned from Cayman too?
     
    Insurance is gambling as well; should that be outlawed?
     
    Then there is weather forecasting, medicine, all forms of commerce, crossing the road, and even choosing a mate.  All involve chance and can result in loss or gain in one form or another depending on the outcome.
     
    Einstein may once have said, “God doesn’t play dice”, but he was shown to be wrong on that one. However, the reality of the universe is irrelevant to the dogma of the CIMA.
  8. Richard N. Parson says:

     The churches do it all the time.  Only they don’t call it gambling.  They call it a "raffle"!  Perhaps we could change the wording.  Don’t call it gambling.  Call it the more innocent sounding "raffle".  As usual, it is only  a sin if the "sinners" are doing it!  Such hypocrisy. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Pleas don’t make false generalizations. "The churches" don’t do it all the time. You may find a few that are willing to use raffles, but most are not.  Ignorance and malice – a deadly combination. 

  9. Dred says:

    CNS. Can you post a poll asking questions about support for gambling to see what CNS viewers say?

    CNS: The banner above Viewpoints links to a poll we did last year. If anyone has changed their mind they can cancel their ad and vote again.

    • Dred says:

      Any chance of bringing the subject back up since the issue is brought back up?

    • TP says:

      I think some polls should be repeated.

      It would be interesting to see the same poll announced and repeated on CNS some days before the referendum or at the same time 

      CNS: I’ve started a new poll and closed the old one.

  10. Dred says:

    This is only a problem if we build it stupidly.

    The Gambling law would bring into affect:

    1) Legalize things such as numbers

    2) Legalize Casinos

    3) Possible creation of a Cayman Lottery of some sort.

    Now scare tactics people are going to say ooh Casinos and gambling is going to create all kinds of social services issues. NO. It is not. Here is why.

    1) Gambling is rampant in Cayman and people who want to gamble do so at will. It is illegal but no one enforces the laws and hell the enforcers even buy. So it’s not like there is no gambling and we’re introducing something into the environment we do not know how to deal with.

    2) Casinos are going to bring bad elements to Cayman. Really. Really. Are you thinking mafia? Bank Heist? You think we don’t have some of those elements already here? Heist is so funny. When is the last time you heard on teh news of a casino in vegas being hit? You know that makes for a good movie but people have found new ways to rob them nowadays.

    3) Casinos are going to create social problems for Cayman lower class by taking their last dollars away. First and foremost if they wanted to gamble they would doing numbers BUT what I would propose is a salary cap for gambling. I woudl make it that locals would have to have a license to gamble and to get a license it would be based on an income level therefore making people who CAN’T afford it not be able to do it. Now for those upper class who are idiots their license can be withdrawn also.

    Now that we have gotten across the crap. Well not all because of the hypocrit Churchs let’s deal with them also. Do you realise that 90% of the non -profit organisations also participate in gambling at one level or another and YES that includes churches and pastors and pew huggers. They all buy rafle tickets or set up raffles.

    Now many church goers also buy numbers. So while they are there kicking up a fuss it’s only because they want to be the only game in town.

    Our problems as supporters is we don’t organize as well as the churches do. We need a full blown campaign like it’s a major campaign promise.

    I now call on Gilbert and Ezzard to join forces and make this happen. We want newspaper ads, radio and meetings. People need to hear about how it will all work to Cayman’s benefit and what teh numbers would look like.

    All this call for broadening our revenue base here is one.

    Let me take a moment to dive into the Casino angle and I saved this for last because this I am passionate about.

    The Casino angle while being slightly different from the Hosiptal’s Medical Tourism does present a new Tourism angle. The Cayman Islands being considered tourism destination and a place where money flows would be very attractive to casino owners. Casinos would bring:

    1) New Construction

    2) Increased duties to the Government coffers

    3) Increased hotel activity

    4) Increased airline activity

    5) Possible increased real estate revenues

    6) Possible increase in business licenses

    Casinos brings in high rollers. These are people with lots of money and if tournaments are held here which in all likelihood they would be it would bring more attention to the Cayman Islands. Some make come as gamblers but come back as regular tourist.

    What we need for Cayman Tourism is exposure not just teh nagative one we get from the movies but the positive ones we get from our beaches and our people.

    While I don’t believe Gambling will solve all our problems I do believe that between Gambling, Medical, Tourism, Finance and a government that’s leaner we can get back into the black. I also believe unlike Tim Ridley that this is sustainable for the long term. How long has places like Atlantic City, Vegas been around? How long has there been a need for medicine?

    I don’t see any of those elements disappearing anytime soon.

    I do see taxes as problematic. One generally they are expensive to manage and two we already have a government who can not handle collections. Just look at the Hospital Overseas bills, Garbage fees, do I need to say more?

    The other angle is taxes never go away. They only increase. You simply can not tax your way out of problems because you always find other needs for taxes. We would simply be broke at a higher level.

    We need first a leaner government that is focussed on savings and we need other revenue measures that don’t come directly from our pockets. We are already one of the most expensive places to live on earth why would we want to increase that further when we don’t have to.

    Taxes also open pandoras box and makes businesses who are here for tax SAVINGS become nervous and start look elsewhere.

    I am of the opinion that every door should be closed before we even seriously consider taxes.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m with you on this Dred but why call on Mr. Gilbert and Ezzard to put out the ads and engage the other marketing tools? Who will cover the huge costs?

      I applaud Mr. Gilbert for having the cahones to put this forward, knowing full well, I am sure, what he would be coming up against. He and Ezzard could hardly be expected to bear the brunt of marketing this, which will benefit us all, so perhaps some wise soul like you could pull together a support team and do a couple of those "raffles" to make the money to cover the campaign costs for this. Remember, the churches have all of their offering plates filled each Sunday, and at meetings in between, but those two gentlemen hardly have such resources at their disposal.

      • Dred says:

        Sorry maybe I didn’t say it correctly. I wasn’t calling for them to actually finance it just be the leading force behind truly organising it.

        I was saying to do it like a campaign seeking people who would be interested in financing the cost involved in getting this together. I’m sure we have enough gamblers who would be campaign sponsors.

    • Don't worry I wont stay says:

      A National Lottery is a tax on the poor. A Casino is a tourism asset. It is a valuable asset and should not be given away. A license should only be granted to a NEW hotel development.

      The number of rooms equals the size of the allowable gaming floor. In addition to the construction of a hotel the Casino developer would have to finance another aspect of tourism infrastructure. 72 holes of golf, cruise port, airport expansion.

      In ten years we could have 2500 new rooms, new tourism assets, an ongoing revenue stream from gaming, and eliminate unemployment.

  11. welsh man says:

    I am a believer who attends church regularly.

    I can not believe the hypocrisy that I am witnessing. Church members who regularly take part in lotteries are signing the anti-lottery petition. I refer to those who buy $25 tickets in the St. Ignatious Christmas lottery, Rugby Club lotteries, Rotary Club lotteries etc.

    How can honest people who take part in lotteries sign an anti-lottery petition?

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t you get it Bobo, a lottery andor a casino would create too much competition for their Raffle.

    • Anonymous says:

      Welsh man, you didn’t state what your position is on gambling as a believer who attends church regularly.  

  12. Durrrr says:

    The bottom line is that those people who want to gamble in Cayman already do, whether by playing the numbers, gambling online, playing games/sports for money, or by going on holiday to the likes of the Bahamas and Vegas and gambling there. It therefore makes perfect sense to legalise gambling in Cayman, grant a limited number of high-end casino licences, tax the casinos’ profits, and keep at least some of the lost revenues in the country (without even considering the additional tourist dollars that casinos would no doubt bring).

     

    According to the following link on the Bahamian government website, "from 2000 to 2007, tax revenues accruing to the government of The Bahamas from the Paradise Island, Crystal Palace, the Casino at Bahamia, Isle of Capri and the casino at Emerald Bay totalled $143 million" ( http://www.bahamas.gov.bs/bahamasweb2/home.nsf/c5d1826da66595d206256f03005e99f2/d453879f8698c42685257424004bca81!OpenDocument ). So we are effectively throwing away US$20million per year in untapped revenue, by maintaining the prohibition.

     

    It’s about time we got rid of the stupid Sunday trading laws whilst we are at it. I would love for someone to explain why I can go to the bar of my choice and get drunk on a Sunday, but I can’t go to the supermarket to by my groceries.

     

    P.S. I’m willing to bet any church-goer $25 that they can’t find anything against gambling in the bible.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Question: "Is gambling a sin? What does the Bible say about gambling?"



    Answer: 
    The Bible does not specifically condemn gambling, betting, or the lottery. The Bible does warn us, however, to stay away from the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10Hebrews 13:5). Scripture also encourages us to stay away from attempts to “get rich quick” (Proverbs 13:1123:5;Ecclesiastes 5:10). Gambling most definitely is focused on the love of money and undeniably tempts people with the promise of quick and easy riches.



    What is wrong with gambling? Gambling is a difficult issue because if it is done in moderation and only on occasion, it is a waste of money, but it is not necessarily evil. People waste money on all sorts of activities. Gambling is no more or less of a waste of money than seeing a movie (in many cases), eating an unnecessarily expensive meal, or purchasing a worthless item. At the same time, the fact that money is wasted on other things does not justify gambling. Money should not be wasted. Excess money should be saved for future needs or given to the Lord’s work, not gambled away.



    While the Bible does not explicitly mention gambling, it does mention events of “luck” or “chance.” As an example, casting lots is used in Leviticus to choose between the sacrificial goat and the scapegoat. Joshua cast lots to determine the allotment of land to the various tribes. Nehemiah cast lots to determine who would live inside the walls of Jerusalem. The apostles cast lots to determine the replacement for Judas. Proverbs 16:33 says, “The lot is cast in the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.”



    What would the Bible say about casinos and lotteries? Casinos use all sorts of marketing schemes to entice gamblers to risk as much money as possible. They often offer inexpensive or even free alcohol, which encourages drunkenness, and thereby a decreased ability to make wise decisions. Everything in a casino is perfectly rigged for taking money in large sums and giving nothing in return, except for fleeting and empty pleasures. Lotteries attempt to portray themselves as a way to fund education and/or social programs. However, studies show that lottery participants are usually those who can least afford to be spending money on lottery tickets. The allure of “getting rich quick” is too great a temptation to resist for those who are desperate. The chances of winning are infinitesimal, which results in many peoples’ lives being ruined.



    Can lotto/lottery proceeds please God? Many people claim to be playing the lottery or gambling so that they can give the money to the church or to some other good cause. While this may be a good motive, reality is that few use gambling winnings for godly purposes. Studies show that the vast majority of lottery winners are in an even worse financial situation a few years after winning a jackpot than they were before. Few, if any, truly give the money to a good cause. Further, God does not need our money to fund His mission in the world. Proverbs 13:11 says, “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” God is sovereign and will provide for the needs of the church through honest means. Would God be honored by receiving donated drug money or money stolen in a bank robbery? Of course not. Neither does God need or want money that was “stolen” from the poor in the temptation for riches.



    First Timothy 6:10 tells us, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Hebrews 13:5declares, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” Matthew 6:24 proclaims, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

    Footnote – its the love of money, not money, that is the root of all evil.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Not being a Christian, but doesn’t the bible also say something about  infidelity? and comeon now, we all know a few TOO MANY christians who ignore that bit don’t we?

    • Anonymous says:

      hahaha ..such hypocrisy again….. if you want to preach on the evils of money… i think you should direct your sermon to the local money -making scam scam churches on the island……

    • Rosalee Reyes says:

      We were given Ten Commandment Laws.  Show me where it says THOU SHALT NOT GAMBLE.

      • Anonymous says:

        Obviously, the 10 commandments do not purport to be an exhaustive code of all sin so that premise to your request is fallacious and silly. They also do not say "Thou shalt not rape" but no one is any in doubt that rape is a sin.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Well stated. Never mind the silly comments insisting it must be in the 10 commandments (as if the 10 commandments was complete and exclusive statement of all sin).  

  14. Honest Dave says:

    Honest Dave is offering new odds on the existence of God.

    God exists   5-1

    God does not exist 1-4

    Payouts promised on the other side or upon the begnning of the end as predicted in Revelations, whichever is sooner, assuming the proof of God’s existence is or is not established by such date.

     

  15. Anonymous says:

    D.Goldberg – YES vote for National Lottery.

     

    Please continue to sign your name if you vote YES or NO accordingly.

  16. TP says:

    Gilbert Mclean does not talk about the cost that gambling will bring to these Islands. He does not mention the association between gambling and the rise of crime. He seems to be all optimistic about making money off the gaming industry. There is no talk on Rooster 101 about the morality of gaming nor the expensive facilities that is need to be implemented to ensure security.

    We have to be careful!  On the one hand something may sound like a bright idea, but there is always like the say, a dark side to the moon.

    Peace 

    • Dred says:

      What a pile of hogwash.

      I think we can handle the crime (which doesn’t exist) with the 20 mil that can be madefrom it.

      XXXXXX

      When is the last time you heard of a Casinos Heist? Do you think we have that kind of sophistication here in our two bit criminals?

      Our guys here are smash and grab style and casinos are set up to deter this kind of crime.

      Let’s talk morality. How about the morality of raffles? How many churches around Cayman have participated in raffles? How many church members play numbers? come on don’t preach morality to me. It’s just good when they do it. XXXXX

  17. Keys in the Basket Tabernacle says:

    Hi everyone. I’m starting my own church, the Keys in the basket Tabernacle. No Tides to pay, just chuck your keys in the basket every Sunday and see what happens.

    First service this Sunday at the Tiki Beach Bar at 11am. See you all there.

     

     

  18. Anonymous says:

    I bet if the law stated that you had to be Caymanian to win or at least give the majority share to a Caymanian then all would be fine huh?

  19. Rectus femoris says:

     Dear Pastor Al and Rev. Sykes, 

    I am a gay Caymanian gambler who believes human rights are a good thing. 

    Why do you hate me? 

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      This is actually very funny!

       
    • Anonymous says:

      No one hates you, they hate the wrong you do!

      • Anonymous says:

        Are Christians allowed to hate? I know they do, but does God accept such behavior?

    • Mat says:

      Ok… Rectus

      What do you know about Pastor Al and Rev. Sykes??? 

      As far as I know, I have not heard these ministers condemn anyone as deserving hell or deserving not to have the right of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Knowing the Christian faith and I am not a Christian, I would think that you are confused or have mistaken fundamental Bible teachings. I would also surmise that these ministers would be faithful practicioners of their own faith, and as a result, like Jesus love their neighbors as themselves, hating the sin. So, do you know Pastor Al and Rev. Sykes my friend?

      Are they wrong for quoting the Bible? Are they killing people? Are they saying that a certain set of people are demons? Or, are they merely teaching what the Bible says???

      It is plain as day that in their Bible it does condemn homosexual lifestyle, but it commands to love all sinners! Hate the sin, but love the sinner – that is Christianity, my friend. You apparently don’t understand the faith, maybe because you have a few fanatical adherents who are actually against homosexuals themselves. 

      But understand the Bible refers to homosexuality as a serious sin against the nature and the order of what God has naturally ordained. The Bible goes further and teach that not even a man should lust in his heart for a woman that is not his wife (and vice versa). But places homosexuality as a sin that may proceed severe destruction in this life.

      The Bible paints a scary and famous story of Sodom and Gomorrah, two cities that adopted homosexuality to the point that their was no more control over the sensual nature. You see if your heart is centered on sexual feelings or sensuality, then it is logical that your life will become based on an external object or bodily experience. Early Christian teachings attempts to rise us above the external to the spiritual and godly where the will is not a slave to the temporal body or mind. If your heart and happiness is based on sensuality with always ends in dissatisfaction, then it becomes your god – there is no room for the True God where there is everlasting peace and joy. And just like there was no control over human nature, over the senses as well as the sexual sensations, nature lost control and destroyed the entire city of Sodom and Gomorrah. You should read in the story – although you may not want to take it as a literal story, it has its underlying message.

      Rectus, have you ever thought that these ministers may love you in God’s name, but they don’t condone your lifestyle, because the Bible calls it sin???

      Please understand your critics. You can learn alot from them.

      • vocal local says:

        "Please understand your critics. You can learn a lot from them".

        Does your advice here work both ways in your mind, or only one way?

      • Rectus femoris says:

         I don’t hate you, Mat, I just hate who and what you are. Feel okay about that? 

        With logic like that displayed in your post you would make a wonderful Christians or Muslim. Just stop thinking completely and sign up. 

        • Mat says:

          Rectus, I figure you an intelligent person. Most gays I have met are intelligent. It is the unintelligent ones or those that lost a screw that make you all look bad.

          My concept of God is more of a "advaita vedantist" concept; I do not consider myself a Christian or Muslim. My persuasion more towards Sri Ramana Maharshi’s teachings and what I experienced and record in my personal journals whenever I devote my time to meditation. Truth to me is found more in "you" than in anywhere else.

          I do not hate who or what you are, and don’t approve anybody hating me or anyone else. The world is such a beautiful place with its varieties – imagine a garden with just pink flowers. I affirm that a person has the right to choose their sexual preference so long they don’t attempt to force anyone to conform to their lifestyle. It doesn’t matter to me if you are gay or straight; I affirm that the real you is a spiritual being – more than a mere body and mind. Unfortunately, many gays are gays because of lust and do not see the connection between the spirit and their external lives. And I am not just pointing at gays – people in the church as well do not know who they really are, caught up with their many secret sins.

          However, as you may see in my above comment, I do believe in the practicality of fostering a belief in God for spiritually beneficial reasons. You may choose to believe in God or you may not. It doesn’t matter to me, because we are talking about a "belief." I am talking about the "positive use" of the "noble belief" if it is noble of course.Moreover, I affirmed that an individual (whether straight or gay) that has no self-restraint over his senses and sexual sensations, is basing his life on temporal existence and will not find true happiness and peace of mind. Everything arise and pass away in life, why hold on to them – much more your physical self? People who base their happiness on their fleeting thoughts and sensations, will always be dissatisfied with the totality of life.

          Also, I used the story of Sodom and Gomorrah to show that "karma" – what you sow, you reap, is real. I affirm that human nature affects the rest of nature, and if humanity is not at peace with themselves, it will effect the weather, the environment just like the moon effects the high and low tide being millions of miles away from the earth. Someone said, nature is like a web – if you touch a link of it, the whole web is effected. This is karma.  

          This is what I stand for!  If you are gay – that’s ok!  But if you are gay because you lack self-restraint – to me that reflects most peopleI know who have chose to become gay. It is spiritual weakness on their part. It is the same like a married straight man who can’t control himself and looks for sex elsewhere outside the home. It is not like that person became gay because of their genetical makeup or a cross between a man/woman. They choose to become gay because of spiritual weakness – how can they be happy and reap good karma??? If the senses are left to themselves – full sway, it will eventually lead the person to ruin or suffering. Knowing who you really are, a healthy belief in God, insight meditation, or selfless acts of love towards others, are ways to help you "see" that you are more than a body and mind, and makes you a true human.

          There are gays who are true human beings – connected to life and some connected to "God" and their lives reflect that! I hope you are one of them. Most naturally, people will gravitate towards a belief in God – that is why I stress in the importance of devotion to such a concept.

          Peace

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you sure you’re not a Christian? Remember, it’s a sin to lie…

      • Anonymous says:

        He who thinks within the box remains trapped.

    • Anonymous says:

      They don’t. They hate the sin and love the sinner.

  20. Rectus femoris says:

     The only problem with a lottery is that it won’t solve the problem of our incompetent/corrupt politicians. If they have more money they will just spend more money in wasteful ways that benefit their personal goals and empires. The country will be no better off. 

    Remember several years ago when our politicians instituted an airport fee on tourists? It was to enhance and protect Cayman’s natural environment. It sounded great and everybody cheered. A few years later it came to light that all they did was use the money to help pay for the garbage trucks. 

    If we put it into law that all lottery income must go to education, for example, they will just divert the money that used to go to education into their own black hole projects like more Turtle Farms, oranother Pedro St. James. 

    Trust me, if they get an extra chunk of change from lottery suckers, they will do the old shell game and nobody will be any better off but them. 

    Watch and see. 

     

  21. Anonymous says:

    Gilbert may not speak much but he sang a sour note with this pro gambling cause.

    To all those pro gambling people out there there is a sleaze factor that comes with gambling and it is part of the numbers racket that exists in Cayman today.

    As with so many other ignored laws in the Cayman Islands gambling is ignored.

    Why you ask? Because the big boys that gamble do not want to be inconvenienced.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Ultimately our Earthly lives are full of human choices, though these may be guided by our religious faith, they are in effect bets and wagers on a certain desirable outcome.  There is risk and uncertainty in many of our daily decisions, which is part of what makes life exciting, fulfilling, and fun. 

    If the CMA does not endorse "gambling", they are in effect opposing the ability to which Cayman’s grown adults (and visitors) can be trusted to assess their own risk tolerances and make personal decisions on when to stop.

    I have to assume that CMA does not know that there are sophisticated technologies, widely utilized, to identify and qualify casino customers as they approach the front door – should that should become a requirement.  Customers can be tracked and cut off at certain levels – if they want to be.   

    CMA would do better to focus their energies towards forming a useful Cayman Islands Gaming Commission that could form and regulate policy; and perhaps restrict any persons "economically prone" they determine not to qualify, rather than continue their medieval prohibitive stance.

     

  23. Anonymous says:

    Cayman needs revenue or must cut expenses…. NOW!  If you are saying ‘no’ to casinos, lotteries, NS dredging, Medical tourism… etc then please confirm you support a massive reduction in the civil service to cut the cost side of the equation.  tick tock tick tock

  24. Anonymous says:

    We really don’t need more crime in these islands.  Perhaps we should do more to detect and penalize those participating in illegal gambling.  Maybe a fine of $1000 for those who are caught buying numbers and $20,000 for those caught selling.  This could be great revenue to government and will deter persons from participating.  Also, if the person is a foreigner they are to be deported.  I have already heard talks about the casinos from last year after elections and even heard they were already looking at where to bring folks from with the type of experience needed for acasino. 

    • Pending says:

      Do you think they could do that? They would have to arrest a very large percentage of the population including people from the top of government to those in the police force…bottom line…will never happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree alot more should be done to stop the illegal gambling that is going on now, before worrying about how to legalize it.

      I wonder if making it legal will do anything to stop all those persons who are already doing it illegally from continuing to sell and buy illegally?

      Since people are claiming it will be such a good revenue source. But I wonder what good would it be then, if people carry on with their own illegal activities even if we establish the proposed lottery.

  25. Anon says:

    Its not surprising the church communities managed to obtain more signatures.  They are far better organised.

    Unfortunately the pro campaign never really got off the ground with sufficient signatures because it was not properly organised.  Petitions should have been left as gas stations, supermarkets, convenience and grocery stores, post offices, plazas, hotels and other prominent locations island-wide.  Then we would see how much support a national lottery would really have… and I am pretty sure we’d end up with thousands of signatures, provided of course, that everybody, regardless of nationality were allowed to lend their support.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey CNS, how about an online poll vote on for/against Regulated Casinos?

      • Anonymous says:

        Great minds – only today I asked CNS to put up a poll to see who supported the lottery or not – given the pro-lottery petition organiser didn’t seem to do too well, I thought it might be easier to get a better indication of the real figures here.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Caribbean Gaming-the facts.

    The objection on the grounds of increase in crime, suicides etc is not relevant. Casinos in the Caribbean do not allow residents to play and residents should not be allowed to here either These casinos are simply another way of taking money from the Tourist. This argument by the Ministers is totally smoke and mirrors.
    The impact to our society is purely positive. It will bring more tourist, more jobs, import duties, construction and more money for Government, etc.

    Properly structured Caribbean casinos do not only benefit the operators but benefit the country by providing funds to good causes, usually to the arts, culture, education and yes…even faith based organizations.

    and of course, the churches do do raffles (game of chance rather than skill), and yes that is gambling.

    Most of the arguments that you will see against casinos are using information from casinos in the US where they are no protection for the residents and many do fall pray to compulsive gaming. That is not the case in the Caribbean, so the weed out the arguments in the proper context.

    Finally, here is the ultimate counter argument about the social impact of ‘regulated’ gaming. Those who maybe susceptible to compulsive gaming locally, already have more than enough avenues to gamble already. In fact there is little ability to assist those folks currently because they are underground but regulated gaming will not make that situation worst.

  27. Anon says:

    The churchgoers gamble every week – dropping their hard earned money in that collection plate and gambling that their worshiping, praying, and christian (when it’s convenient) values will pay off in the after life. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I think that what you have said is very disturbing. It does not matter how man or woman worship god as long as they do, let god be the judge of what is being done with that money. If you have read the bible it tells us about paying tides and if you where going to church and putting your money into the collection plate problably you would not need to gamble.

      Do not judge because you will be the first to judge.

      • Anon says:

        Well, the time I take to be dropping money into that collection pan in order for someone else to get a big time expensive mansion, I could be dropping a few dollars into my own piggy bank to build a nice house of my own.

      • Prince of Tides says:

        Show us the bit about "paying tides".  And I though it was all to do with the gravitational interaction of the Earth and the moon.

  28. Anonymous says:

    if the cma want to protect their beloved christian caymanians then i would suggest a gaming liscense for expats and tourists only

    in the mean time i will boycott all church school/church raffles which is the exact same as gambling……

    the next time you are stopped outside a supermarket, say that you will not buy another ticket until government makes gambling legal…

  29. Anonymous says:

    As if we didn’t have enough crime in our islands already, now you all want to support bringing in the gaming industry – JUST GREAT!

     

  30. Anonymous says:

    This is an OPEN message to the Cayman Ministers Association. Before you all go stepping on the toes of persons who want to have fun and gamble, the time is now prudent for you all to look into your churches and congregrations and find out the following:

    1- How many of your membership are truly being Christian, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

    2- How many of your members have extra marital affairs?

    3- How many of your members buy raffle tickets to win prizes such as cars, boauts, cell phones?

    4- How many churches have lunches where raffles are incorporated into the sale of the lunch?

    5- How many of your members play the various lotteries that are fully operational in the country?

    6- How many churches go out BEGGING for financial assistance (this in itself is gambling- as your taking a gamble with getting donations)!

    I am a believer in Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible and know that there is a God above. However, I have no confidence, faith or trust in the churches as the majority of the bodies that congregrate on Sundays are sinning just as much as I and others and sometimes more.

    Its simple- the lottery will be played by persons who WANT to play. This is a great way for the government to get additional income. One has to look no further than Florida and see what the lottery has done for education in that state. Our country is in dire financial hardships and if the CMA is going to oppose the lottery- may I suggest that effective immediately they make monthly contributions to the Treasury of this country of 45% of their monthly offerings.

  31. Just a Shoddy Idea.... says:

    Let us let the people of Cayman Vote, majority wins. Simple!

    My vote is for it.

    Someone who is against this tell me why is it okay for a church to have raffles?

  32. Just Sayin says:

    All those full up churches and 1200 was the best they could do? That speaks volumes in itself.

    I say we start an anti-church petition, bet we could get more than 1200 signatures against that bunch of self-righteous hypocrites.

     

  33. Anonymous says:

    Here’s one for Sis. Julie, I want to hear you speak up on this matter, and oh I almost forgot Bro. McKeeva, both UDP members and church leaders and christians. God will judge you remember, politics or not, speak up and let your people know how you feel on gambling and lotteries etc. God has already spoken to these Islands thru hurricanes, earthquakes etc. I call on you to tell us how you feel on this subject, don’t leave this for the sinners on these Islands to make this decision.

    • Anonymous says:

      McKeeva said on the radio that his vote will be secret! We all know why it will be secret, but nothing is a secret from God

  34. tim ridley says:

    A number of years ago, a private sector committee did an indepth analysis of the economics of a national lottery. The conclusion was that, unless any Cayman lottery was "bolted on" to someone else’s lottery, e.g. the UK or Florida lotteries, it did not make economic sense. After the costs of administration, distributions to "good causes" such as local charities and any worthwhile government levy, the prize money was highly uncompetitive and thus the lottery would likely be unsuccessful.

    The resident population has grown since that study was done, and thus the economics of a lottery may now be less unattractive. But I suspect that numbers are still pretty weak.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, I think our resident population has again shrunk by about 10,000 since November, 2008 which probably us back to where we were immediately post-Ivan. You are right that the numbers don’t work. That should be fairly self-evident.  

  35. Anonymous says:

    People are getting upset by the notion of legalizing gaming, and ignoring the very strong likelihood that it actually wont benefit the Islands in any genuine capacity.

    Sure, if we had a casino or 3, then maybe a few more weeks would be booked in Hotels and the ancillary benefits that would bring to Cayman directly and indirectly…but really not very large benefits at all.

    The government actually wont make much money at all from legalizing casinos as simply our tourism product is too small, our traffic is too small, to compete with Atlantis, SOuth Florida, and the new mega- gaming resorts being built in Jamaica and Cuba….we simply dont compete, never will, by offering the same thing.

    by NOT having gaming, we actually can legitimately brand ourselves as a family-centric destination and push that message loud and proudly.

    unfortunately, the likelihood is that he with the biggest wallet and strongest ties to those in power will win AGAIN and some casinos will be built, very small, tiny casinos that will benefit the developers and thats it….and CAyman will lose a very tangible branding for ever for very little benefit

    Govt has absolutely no idea whether it’ll make signifcant returns from legalizing gaming because they have no experience, and probably little interest in learning about the real benefits and instead XXXXXX and with it let Cayman become a 3rd rate destination for ever

  36. Oliver says:

    Cayman have so many SUNDAY Christians it is amazing…  I will go on record to say that I am sure that 99.999999 % of Caymanians … this includes CHURCH Sunday Christians have done, or is gambling and have done so at one time or the other. I play florida lottery every chance I get, I will be honest if I understood the local numbers or trust it, I would play. Not being controlled by a body or government I will not play it .

    Look the simple matter of the fact is "Government needs another revenue sorce" where is it going to come from? We don’t want property, income, or sales tax. Government really can’t put anymore fees on the financial or tourist industry, so what are we to do. I know!!!! start taxing the CHURCHES… we have about  10 Churches or more in each district … its a business so let them pay. Most if not all of these Pastors, Priest, whatever you want to call them….. drive around in expensive vehicles, living large, work on Sunday, whe you should be resting, collect money in trays on Sunday which is a GAMBLE that it will be used for good or some other luxury item. Look hear with all the deasters in the world I have never heard of any CHURCH giving money? to the cause they collect stuff form me and you but I never hear them saying that "we are giving $10,000 from the CHURCH funds etc.

    We have to wake up PEOPLE, we have to mature Church and Politic should not mix  we know that is  not good.

     

     

  37. Anonymous says:

    I want to gamble, do it all the time, when going to miami, tampa, jamaica, europe it is fun, what make cayman any different. you win some and you lose some that the name of the game. and the only different i be spending my money in my country.

  38. Anonymous says:

    The anti-gamblers got their signatures; so those for it need to put pen to paper! That is what will do the talking on this issue.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Billy Adam asked, “What common crime will politicians want to legalise next — no parking, speeding, theft, drugs, rape or murder?”
     

    Who knew that casinos are a gateway sin to harder stuff, thanks for warning us Billy!

     

    • Drop Out says:

      I vote for drugs.

    • Pending says:

      How are you supposed to have a so called democracry when people cannot exercise their own freedom of choice? The "Church" is so ingrained in every facet of business and life in Cayman that it stifles the very development of this country.

      People need to get with the times, or this place will drown in its old ways. Change has to happen for survival in this world, it is a known fact.

      Can the church not see anything past their own self serving purpose?

      In the Bahamas they have casinos, but guess what, Bahamians cannot gamble in them, they can only work. So let the tourists come here to win / lose their money and employ Caymanians to take it from them!

      Until the often outdated and backward mentality of a select few on this island is changed, we going down, down, down.

      Gambling has been going on in Cayman for years and years and years, whether illegal (numbers) or illegal (raffle tickets). Those that be are soo hypocritical and clearly in contranvention of the law when they sell these tickets yet nothing is done, why? Becaue they aren’t sold in a building with bright flashing lights and loud noises? Because they are sold by church members? Because they are aiding in the development or sponsorship of something? Gimme a break.

      Life is a gamble people, you lose some and you win some, it just depends on the choices you make.

       

      GET WITH THE TIMES!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sarcasm

    • Happy Harry says:

      Let it be the drugs.  Please let it be the drugs.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Ok no lottery no more selling raffels tickets for nothen regardless if it is Rotary, Lions, schools, Chruches it is still a Gamble regardless who is going to benifit from it its still call GAMBLING.

  41. Anonymous says:

     I gamble, most of my family members gamble, the vast majority of my friends are gambling. JUST ABOUT EVERYONE I KNOW IS GAMBLING!

    We buy the lottery locally, we buy lotteryinternationally online …http://www.BuyLottoOnline.com

    We sport bet online, we casino gamble online

    http://www.sportingbet.com/

    Did I mention that we are Caymanians? Oh then…WE ARE!

    So how on earth are we still putting food on our tables? Well here is a tip: WE DON’T OVER INDULGE! …Aha…I know just what you (the pious one) may utter "but many will over indulge". My question to you would be "over indulge in the FOOD THAT IS ON THE TABLE? Well, we are certain they are doing that, by the stats provided on obesity in this country. YOU CANNOT PROTECT PEOPLE FROM THEMSELVES. Just try to educate them (wink…wink). 

    The church is a "vocal minority" that greatly influences policies that are “strangling" this country economically. They are consulted on everything, I MEAN EVERYTHING!! Imagine even the consideration of a new Auditor General involves the church. LUNACY!

    It is indeed refreshing to see objective organizations like Chamber of Commerce, CITA and CIREBA get involve on the trying to get these outdated gaming laws overturned. Also, it is encouraging to hear that one MLA is brave enough to speak his true position on the matter.

    After visiting, observing, and ENJOYING  The Atlantis in the Bahamas you come back to Cayman, and to the grim realization, of how oppressed, and deluded, we are by the influences of  the “inhabitants” of the little buildings with the cross symbols on them.

    Count my vote for gaming!

  42. Anonymous says:

    People

    What gambling would do for this Island will be but a mere drop in the bucket towards paying off our debt!

    Moreover new expenditures to come!

    WAKE UP Cayman!  We are too small and in debt – gambling may very well increase it and crime!

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to agree with you.

      People need to start thinking long term about the real consequences of legalizing gambling. We may make a few dollars now, but what about all of the negative side effects (more financial stress on families when they start loosing money, increased crime).

      • Dred says:

        Your problem is you don’t know.

        Cayman can design the Casinos section of the law, like many other countries do, to exempt locals from Gambling therefore avoiding the pitfalls of gambling. You can also income cap it and make people at a certain income cap BUY a license to gamble. This creates revenue from people who feel they can afford it. The next stage with them is to have it much like a drivers license. You mess up and it’s gone.

        I don’t see the problems you see because I think out solutions without talking.

        Much less we don’t make a few dollars. Casinos in the Bahamas make about 20mil a year. That’s abit more than a few dollars. Thsi does not even take into account the revenue generated outside the casino by people coming there to gamble. Government would also be making the hotel service charge, tax from teh airline tickets. The economy would be getting hotels stays, taxi fares, food sales and much more. These are not included in the 20 mil stated by the Bahamas.

        Now as for the cost. You draft some laws. Casinos will have calls to remove people from time to time no doubt. I don’t see any major threat from crime other than possibly some idiots trying to grow a brain. But Casino heist are not common anymore. Not even sure if they ever were common except in the movies. Outside of this we are looking at a small department in charge of collection of Casino fees annually. How many staff do you figure it takes to deal with say 5 to 10 casinos revenues collections? Not much.

        All you are saying is coming from the churchs who need to get their noses out of politics and get it back into the churchs to get the parents to take care of their kids. They spend far too much time talking to politicians (who mind you are like in bed with the devil half the time) instead of trying to counsel their followers.

        Let’s not go into the numbers racket as this is rampant here already. Whateverwe consider doing lottery wise is all but irrelevant. The difference in social service claims because of this will be neglible. I would make numbers dealers and sellers take out licenses. The revenues made could go directly to Social services. The licenses could be dealt with at Immigration or the new department. I don’t see them as overworked because of the Casinos anyhow.

        Let me state something categorically. I am a proud Caymanian. I am not young and green. I would never subject my country to anything I thought it could not handle. For those same two reason I fight against Taxes adamantly because I know our government can not handle the funds they have so I wouldn’t give them our money to play with. I wouldn’t consider Oil Refining because of just what we are seeing in the Gulf now. An Oil Refinery would generate money but it’s one mistake off of ruining Cayman’s waters and ecosystem for life. Just think back to the Exxon Valdez incident and how many years this is later and they are still cleaning that mess up.

        I love my country but if we are to broaden our revenue base let’s do it wisely. The medical tourism is brilliant it has the potential like nothing else I have visualised. The Casinos is also a very good sound idea if done right. These are revenues that do not come from the poor Caymanian trying to get by. There are many of them. We need to stop lining our pockets for a second and think about those less fortunate than us. Something like Casinos and the new hospital offer possibility for employment.

        The next step is to repeal the increases to work permits and business licensing fees. This does not work. What have we seen as a result of this stupidity. A sharp decline in all areas that were increased. So now we end up with the same revenues from less volume. Guess what happens next year? We will not even make what we were making. This hike was beyond stupid. It’s a new level of stupidity altogether.

        Let me tell you all about business 101. You do not increase fees during arecession. You can not buy your way out of a recession. You have to stimulate business by lowering certain fees. Since you do not direct tax it’s hard to directly affect the lower to middle class. The best way you can get to them is by lowering duty not increasing it. What you are hoping will happen is that by lowering they can afford to buy more. You don’t have to do necessarily across the board but focus on food stuff and gas. Things that they consume more of.

        What McKeeva has done has set us back 10 to 15 years. Businesses that have left will not simply come back once we drop the prices again. They are gone possibly for good. We will have to attract new business more than likely and to do this we need to make our business environment more foreign investor friendly. Work permits need to be turned around faster and the prices need to be what it was. Renewals should be supper fast. The first timers take more work but renewals or movers from temps to full should be really fast. These people are already vetted and all we are doing is making sure no Caymanian should have gotten the job.

        I would consider some sort of foreign investor package for new businesses established in Cayman for the first time. Possible reduced license fees over X years that allows them to get established. Dedicated paperwork processing to get papers turned around faster. We need new business and we need to do certain things to show companies looking at Cayman that we want their business here.

        I’m scared now of what happens between now and 2012/13. What else will he destroy on his rampage through our finances. God help us all. Yes. Despite my attack on the churchs I am a born Christian. I just don’t like hypocrits.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously now, the crime is already here…may as well reap some financial benefit.

      • Anonymous says:

        Very shallow minded thoughts. So are you saying that crime is ok, once you benefit from it financially? Don’t know about you but crime is crime, and if there is a way to reduce it, or atleast keep it from growing even if that mean not legalizing gambling then I am all for it.

        • Dred says:

          I believe he’s saying we already have what is being purported to gain from the ordeal that we may as well get some finances.

          I believe you all are shallow minded. Gambling will bring us good revenues and place less strain on other finances. This could well keep us out of taxes which will lead us to crime. The Casinos could offer new jobs which could mean more employed which deters crime.

          The days of Casino Heist are behind us. It’s now uncommon to say the least to have a casino heist and even so should we not have them if they were a threat to be robbed? If that’s teh case let’s close all CNB and other retails banks to be honest because no bigger threat exist than banks themselves.

          Ad to that we have had how many CNB robberies now??

          At least maybe the money gained could assist in further policing efforts to stop crime.

          Its’ also important to note that most of our "criminals" here if not all are not that technically equiped to do a Casino job per say. It’s not a typical smash and grab or break in kind of job. We are talking about sophisticated safes and security between points. Criminals would be heavily out numbered in a casino by security and because of eth long distance to travel to the money they would be seen well in advance.

          I believe most of this crap is being dragged up by the churchs who’s combined brainpower can’t light abulb. They gamble at will but scorn us for wanting it to be legal.

          What we need is a serious drive to show them where their place is. They need to get out of politics and tend to their followers. They have FAR TOO MUCH SAY. And our leaders play with them too much.

    • Dred says:

      You have no clue about anything. The Bahamas is coining 20 Mil a year from this. Some drop!!!.

    • Anonymous says:

      Kerzner International’s Atlantis adds over USD$1 bln to GDP for Bahamas…that’s over 10% of GDP and a very big bucket my friend. 

      Their stalled Baha Mar hotel project was called into question after casino operator Harrah’s pulled out of the deal in March 2008.  However, in March 2009 the ExIm Bank of China formally agreed to finance the project to completion estimated at $3.2 billion in funding. 

      In support of this, the Chinese are funding the construction of a new $30 million sports stadium in New Providence and are providing more than $100 million in road construction projects.

    • Anonymous says:

      One drop in the bucket is a darn sight better than the huge hole we have in the bucket right now.

  43. Jason says:

    Not for any church, but I hope certain laws are in place to prevent further crime from happening when gaming is introduced on this Island. And secondly, I hope government is prepared to spend more monies in order to curb crime!

    And please folks, let us not turn this forum into an "anti-christian forum." Religious people do have a valid point about the relationship between greed, broken homes due to finances, and gaming. There are some people who are weak and can’t control themselves and so forget their reasoning and responsibilities when it comes to making easy money. So let us give them credit for that argument.

    All I have to say, if gaming is introduce, I believe we should weigh the PROBABLE negative consequences and implement whatever measures that are need to avoid such consequences. It will mean alot more money and security that we have now!

    Don’t let no supporter for gaming and gambling fool you!

    If anyone think that we can introduce gambling on this island without implementing security measures and spending more money for that purpose – you are in for a big mistake!

    Unchecked crime is crime that will sky-rocket, and LOGICALLY that would mean more Police officers and more government expense! This is something you don’t hear Gilbert Mclean talk much about.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you very much for your comments. People are not thinking about the real problems which this country will face if gambling was allowed. If anything it will mostlikely cost this country more in the long run.

      All you hear are people who claim gambling will make more money, but what about all the negative that will come of it, not to mention increased crime.

  44. whodatis says:

    ‘Dat’s good – dis is a strong Christyun’ country!

    Glad dey’ newa allow such tings roun’ ya!

    Now … lemme call my baby mudda – she betta na have her other baby fadda roun’ my daughter again – all he ever do is smoke weed all day! Otherwise I ga’ have to stop asking my new girlfriend to drop my child off at her house but leave her with my parents instead.

    Then again – my Daddy normally comes home to my mother drunk from the bar or his new, young immigrant girlfriend’s apartment (which he pays for btw) – so I’m not really sure if leaving my child in that hostileenvironment is the best plan either.

    Anyhow – we will all discuss togetherat Sunday dinner after church.

    Thank goodness our Christian and moral society will not be corrupted by this gambling foolishness!

    • Anonymous says:

      LMFAO!! Couldn’t have said it better myself

    • Truth B Told says:

      I have never worked out what the word "baby" added in "baby father", perhaps it makes more sense if your idea of a family unit includes a crack dealer.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Twyla you are out of order to state that 75% of the Cayman population plays  lottery every day and night! XXX

    Why is that some of those people who are advising the Government on how to run the country, manage finance and where to look for new revenue can’t get their own house in order.

    Charity begins at home friends.

    You get it right then you tell others how to do it!

    Some of these so called business advisers are just deal makers and yes find wandfalls, not actaully businessmen. Be careful UDP these guys advised others before as well!

    We are just fine without gambling. Those who make millions do not want taxes, they want gambling so that the poor will continue to pay the way for the rich!

  46. Anonymous says:

    So, a large proportion of those who go to church don’t approve of gambling? Whoever would have guessed?

    This tells us nothing about the views of the wider population, who I suspect are apathetic. Dogma beats apathy every time.

    • Anonymous says:

      You seem to have missed the fact that the petition from the wider population only got 500+ signatories despite being circulated for months. It seems that you are outnumbered.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes it was around for months and pretty much most of us never knew it existed it was so poorly organised and advertised, otherwise many of us would have signed the pro-lottery petition. 

        Its all a matter of organisation.  The church is already organised – the pro-petition was organised very poorly which explains the lack of signatures.  Twyla is not exaggerating about the number of numbers game players in BT.  I’ve lived there for years and almost everybody I know (churchgoers included) play it regularly.

      • Anonymous says:

        The churches have a captive audience every week to preach their anti-gambling message. I am assuming, although I don’t know for sure, that the petition was circulated within the congregations, and they were encouraged to sign it when they were in church.

        The other petition, by contrast, was relatively invisible. There was no equivalent campaign to push the public to sign it. So, I don’t think you can draw any conclusions from the simple numbers involved.

        You also have to remember that the issue of gambling will always create a group of people who are very strongly against it. By contrast, you would struggle to find a group of people who are very strongly for it. The extremely dogmatic "anti" group will always outnumber the "pro" group. The vast, vast majority of people on the island are simply not that bothered.

  47. Christian Country says:

    If Christianity is based on free will, isn’t the Christian thing to do:

    1) Allow gambling so we can exercise free will as to whether we gamble or not.

    2) Stop all the church raffles rather than trying to protect their monopoly on state condoned gambling.

    • Anonymous says:

      everyone keeps talking about these church raffles- i have lived here all my life and never seen or heard of one yet! also, getting real tired of people who are not Chrisitians dictating how Christians should live and what we should and should not accept…

      • Bill says:

        getting real tired of people who are not Chrisitians dictating how Christians should live and what we should and should not accept…

         yet you seemhappy to dictate how others should live, hypocite

        If not then you would support the legalisation of gambling and as a Christian simply refrain from taking part, otherwise YOU are dictating how others can live.

        Jesus spent 40 days and nights in the desert fighting temptation, are you so weak that you think you will succumb to the temptation of gambling if it is legalised?

      • Anonymous says:

        And I am getting really tired of just the opposite:  Christians telling everyone else how to live!!  And also trying to define who is and who isn’t a Christian.  I don’t go to church any more – and I am a Caymanian – but I got tired of the hypocrisy of the Sunday Church goers.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s hilarious! Pull your head out of the sand because the last time I checked it was the "Christians" (and we know there only exist very, very, very few real ones anyway) who are constantly trying to tell the rest of the world how to life (don’t show this movie, don’t bring in this artist, don’t sell those magazines, don’t, don’t don’t).

        If you don’t want to gamble, simple STAY AWAY FROM IT, but don’t deny the entire population the opportunity just because you call yourself a Christian.

      • Anonymous says:

        No worry honey.  Non-Christians are also real tired of Christians dictating how Non-Christians should live and what we should and should not accept…

      • Anon says:

        I’m a christian but I am not a church-goer.  Got sick of the hypocracy, got sickof Christians showing the non-christian characteristic of judging others who they don’t know based on hearsay or otherwise.  Got sick of observing churhgoing ladies being nice to each others face, and then bitching about each other minutes later.  Got sick of the raffles and collections that so many of you deny exist.  I am not saying all Christians are like this, but I have no hesitation in saying that most I have met or know show the same unfortunate unchristian traits.

      • Pending says:

        Touche, I am past tired of "chrisitans" telling me how to live my life over and over again, tell it to another brainwashed soul.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you are mixing up libertarianism and Christianity. Christianity is about doing things God’s way. 

      Based on your argument you should allow every moral evil -prostitution etc. so that we can exercise our free will etc.

      I agree that any church that does allow raffles (many do not) should stop it.  However, they do not have a monopoly on state-condoned gambling. Practically every charity, every football club, Cable & Wireless text message lotteries and every concert that has a gate prize is condoned         

  48. Anonymous says:

    This is the most hyprocrital move I have seen take place in this country for a long time! What the CMA should do is investigate to find out how many of their members are buying and selling numbers then calculate to see how much the government would make to help with our economic situation. Of course, they are probably all looking at what might be less in their offering plates instead of what is best for the country. Illegal gambling is already going on and it will not stop so I agree with Mr. McLean for the government to try to gain some kind of fees from it.

  49. Certified says:

    If there was a lottery then would be allowed to buy ticket?

    Actually the question is who would be allowed to win? If it was open to all then there is a very good chance that an expat or tourist would win a major prize.  The xenophobic elements in Cayman would have kittens.

  50. Joe Average says:

    God took a gamble on us.   And lost of course.

    But that doesn’t mean it’s all bad if it’s regulated.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the same people that are profiting from selling numbers are the one’s being offically against it, as that would kill their income stream.

  52. Marek says:

    This lottery thing " IS A JOKE". For all the talk about ‘all the money’ being made … this is wild speculation and not based on facts.

    There are 39,000 working persons on our little sandbar. If we are to assume that 40% would participate in a national lottery … then we would have 15,600 people buying lottery tickets. Lets assume these people will spend $10 on those tickets…

    Now, add that up… it’s $156,000… if the government spends half on promotion and administration and divides the other half into top tier prizes… do you have any idea how long it would take for the prize to reach one million dollars.

    About … ten ‘MONTHS’… you honestly think somebody is going to buy $10 worth of lottery tickets for a 1/75 million chance to win… $5,000…

    As a matter of fact, with only 150,000 weekly ticket sales it is quite possible that we could have a national lottery that could go without a winner for years and years … and years…  because we simply would not be selling enough tickets to produce a winner…

    After five years of not having a main prize winner… the grand prize would be up to $6.5 million or there abouts… ofcourse, if you spent ten bucks a week… you would have invested about $2,500 in that prize…

    All this talk of tens of millions… there simply are not enough people here to support a national lottery… even the illegal gambling amounts to nothing more than token pocket change.

    The only people that would make money on a national lottery would be The Cayman Compass, CNS and Weststar… OK, maybe Net News…

     

     

    • Pending says:

      Can you calculate the odds on the "numbers" game that is played daily and the possible prize money at hand there? Don’t think there is much money involved in it, but clearly people still play it..

       

  53. Don't worry I wont stay says:

    A national lottery is a tax on the poor. A hotel based casino in a new source of tourism revenue.

  54. Honest Dave says:

    I am running a book on whether the pro-gamblers or the anti-gamblers will win.

    Pro-gamblers 9-4 on fav

    Anti-gamblers 5/2

    You know where to find me.

    Honest Dave

    Ask me about my budget week specials.

    • Scrooge McDuck says:

      put me down for 500 on Pro.  add it to my account.  

      Lefty

    • Anonymous says:

       

      When is this hipocracy going to end amongst these religious leaders?

      They; continue to be used by their Big  church offering donors who  along with their families are enjoyng the rich revenues brought in by the illegal lottery rampant in the Cayman Islands !  Can I get an "Amen"!

      Well, why is the ministers association protesting Legal lottery?

      WHY HAVE THEY NOT PROTESTED "ILLEGAL LOTTERY?"

      THERE’S NO DIFFERENCE!

      Making the lottery legal is the same principal as making selling liquor underground  Legal  75 years ago !" which was once outlawed as "Moonlighting"  so will the hipocracy end?

      The Ministers Association  would be doing their civil and religious duty and should demand that lottery be legalized and government get their portion of taxes to fund education and healthcare as in other western and developed countries.  Shame on you Ministers.  You are actually contributing to illegal lottery that is only lining the pockets of a hand full of Caymanians or X-pats who continue to live in luxury, driving their expensive cars, the hummers and Suv’s, big trucks, high off the ground,  away from the poor! with their tinted glass hiding from those that may ask them for a dime to feed their starving babes!  They also own high rise apartments built from the revenues of these Illegal lotteries!  Well they even own houses and apartments in the united States, Is that fair for government to contnue to allow these crownies to get rich of this illegal lottery scheme?!

      The answer is NO!   Regardless of how many signatures acquired from the Ministers Association,  or how little signatures acquired from Mr.Gilbert  McLean’s petition, the bottomline is that GOVERNMENT MUST MAKE A DECISION TO NOT ALLOW TAX REVENUE THIEVES TO RAKE INMILLIONS OF DOLLARS WEEKLY AND NONE OF IT GOES BACK TO THE PEOPLE OR TO THE CAYMAN ISLANDS TREASURY!

      Now Ministers just think of that!  while you should be thinking of forcing government to close down the liquor licensing Authority, if you’re really mInisters,  or is that OK in your religious books too!   I do not condone drinking liquor nor a lottery, I’m a Christian too !  but RIGHT IS RIGHT AND WRONG IS WRONG, STOP  BEING HIPOCRITICAL.

      IF ILLEGAL LOTTERY IS FLOURISHING THE LIVES OF THE LOTTERY SELLERS AND THE BOOKIES, THEN SOME OF THAT MONIES MUST BENEFIT THE PEOPLE AND THE CAYMAN ISLANDS GOVERNMEN AS WELL.

      RESOLUTION:-

      LEGALIZE  AND INTRODUCE A  NATIONAL LOTTERY  !

      The Premier would have to apologiZe to the voters if he CONTINUES TO tolerate an Illegal lottery while he struggles to meet the budget. Big Mac is much too smart for that one!

      I’m sure as a Christian or Not Mr. Premier must do the right thing and stop the bookies of the illegal lottery from flourishing over his treasury! Since they must have a lottery, he can give it to them and wash his hands! as did pilot!

      The people will have a lottery, they do have a lottery, up and running, and they will continue to have an illegal lottery whether we christians like it or not. Se we must regulate.

      We need education and a budget to run the country, not bookies staching away billions of dollars annually, millions weekly while everyone including government struggles.Are you kidding me?  1200 signatures can not stand up against the factual truths in this letter.

      WE NEED "CHECKS AND BALANCES!"

      The premier has no other alternative but to legalize a national lottery for the Cayman Islands. If he does so he can go on to concentrating on bigger and better things while this money machine works for him and the people too!

       

       

       

       

       

       

  55. local vocal says:

    I am neither for nor against legalized gambling.

    Though i canot see the harm in at least licensing (charging a considerable fee) to those who are operating and profiting from the numbers business. There are people here who make a very healthy living doing this and many Police and other high level govt. officials should know who they are.

    And the highest hypocrisy is that the islands most prominent gaming house is located right in central george town, less than a quarter mile from Central Police Station and a stones throw from the Govt. Hopital. And many, many people must surely know this!…as the many shiny new cars and trucks pull in and out of this location all day and night.

    Surely SOMEONE of law enforcement authority knows this!…but the activities at this location have gone on with no raids or other troubles for ever!…while our troubled teenagers get jailed and records for a spliff!…talk about hypocrisy!…how in the world can we as a people advise our youth when they KNOW the hypocrisy?…How long will we continue to live this lie?

    • Anonymous says:

      I do not forsee this gambling permission going far, not with Julie and Mack. Both are supposed to be christians and it is them that we put our confidence in as christians.Then there is Cline with a very strong christian background. Let us be satisfied with whatever we work for,what does it profit a man if he gain this whole world and loose his precious soul.We need to stop adopting every habit that strangers bring to our  shore.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes people from the law enforcement authorities do know this – they play there frequently themselves.

  56. Twyla Vargas says:

    75%  of Caymanian Population plays the lottery every day and every night.  Many Church members are the bankers, and buyers and a few MLA,s are Bankers and buyers, police,  Indian, Chinese EU and Chief  who pay out thousands of dollars every day to people winning every night.  If you are around when the clocks strike 12:00  you would fall off your chair to see the amount of money being paid out and to whom.

     I have seen people sending tex messages, while pastor preaching, asking what play on Sunday.   Before they say good morning it is "Wha play last night.   Like I said, if you are not around at  12, noon, 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm 11:30 pm, 7am then you do not know what is taking place here.  Every cat and dog is selling number on every street corner.

    My question is why an opposition is not carried out on the illegal lottery,which is milking this country of money that is being sentoverseas.?  Also, are we aware that alcohol is more dangerous, and more money is spent on alcohol than lottery. 

    Howeve, The church should be allowed to make their objections, because if they did not, it would look as if they did not care.  It is their bound duty to object, but still they should object to the opening of bars selling liquor on Sabath  Day and Sunday too.  

    My comments are this,  Lottery has been sold in the Cayman Islands for about 40 years, now it is being sold illegal, five times a day seven days a week.  Do we really think we can stop it?   I dont think so.  Have we really tried to petition the Governor to stop it> I dont think so.   It is not one of the ten comandment laws,so I would put it as one of the Laws of Ceasar. 

     

  57. G A says:

    I don’t support a national lottery (Cayman is just too small for it to be worthwhile)

    But the CMA’s stance is very hypocritical, all their Church raffles going on, that to is gambling, and their is little difference between that and a lottery.

    The only difference is they get the excess proceeds for their causes rather than the Gov for theirs.

    And everyone has Casinos nowadays, I say stand out as a tourist destination and legalise and tax the herb

    Of course if you don’t like that, start doing random drug tests on the CS and fire anyone failing, that’ll solve the XS expenditure and get around the contracts as taking drugs will be a breach of employment contracts.

    there was recently a great stroy from Bermuda where 200 people applied for 5 firemen jobs. Only 3 passedthe basic written test and drug test.

    I say go with extremes either out law all gambling including raffles or legalise it and either lagalise the weed or stop turning  blind eye to the secret stoners.

    Anything else it merely lip service

  58. Anonymous says:

    If I understand the logic of the Church, it means that it will be their responsibilities to tackle the illegal gambling that is already in place (for how many years do you think?) on these islands! The RCIP can take itof their list! Ministers of the morale and the law! Too funny!!!

    Church should be preoccupied with church things. Police with crime and politicians with their constituents!

     
    • Anonymous says:

      What are "church things" exactly? Do you really believe the role of the church is confined to the four walls of the building? The church is there to act as our conscience and our spiritual shepherds and speak out against moral evils. It will not be silenced. 

  59. Anonymous says:

    What the hell!?  Come on XXXXX!  You do raffles don’t you?  Thats a form ofgambling.  You can’t have it both ways.

    Lets get Cayman into the 21st Century!  Everyone else allows Gambling! Think about it, the Government could get their cut!

    McLean says he has less than 500 signatures?  Where did he get them from?  Cause I’m sure he didn’t try hard enough to get them in the expat community.  I am sure they would have signed it for the positive.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      No offence to you, an expat signature on a petition being presented simply doesn’t count. Expats are not registered voters.

      • Anon says:

        So far as I am aware there has not yet been any suggestion that only registered voters could play the lottery (except by CNS posters of course).  What a ridiculous idea.  I can tell you now if you don’t open up any proposed lottery to expats and tourists, then such lottery is bound to fail.  The only way you could make a lottery feasible is to open it up to everybody – otherwise it would generate little to no revenue on an island as small as this.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think the point about registered voters is not that they would be only persons allow to play the lottery but rather that they are only persons who are entitled to vote on a referendum on whether it should be legalised.  Why would any tourist want to play for the paltry sum a Cayman lottery would offer when they can play powerball where they come from for hundreds of millions?  

          • Anonymous says:

            Simple dear – the smaller the island the less people buying tickets = the better your odds of winning, even if the amount to be won is significantly less.  You could play the UK or US lotteries every week for years and win nothing, but you could play the Barbados or Jamaican lottery and actually stand a chance of winning a few grand.  Personally I’d rather spend my money on the chance of winning a few grand, than spend it on no chance of winning a million.  For the same reason, I am aware of several UK and US residents who frequently bet (and win) on Caribbean lotteries.

            By way of example:

            Odds of Winning:

            UK – approx 1 in 14 million

            USA (Powerball) – 1 in 80,089,128

            Canada – 1 in 13,983,816

            Jamaica – 1 in 2,324,784

  60. Richard N. Parson says:

    Don’t the churches sell tickets for raffles?  Same thing!

    • Independant Beauty says:

      It depends on the which church you are talking about. The church that i attend do not do such a thing, they preach agains and for sure stands against it! gambling is gambling any way you turn it!!!! have a great day..

    • Anonymous says:

      which churches? when? for what purpose? i have never seen it personally, have you? or are you just repeating something you have heard?  do your own research on the subject and make an educated judgement on whether it is good for our country or not instead of pointing the finger at the church (which is, by the way, made up of people who all have the free will to make their own choices)…

      • Anon says:

        Plenty plenty so-called churches on the island sell raffle tickets – you would have to be walkiing round blindfolded not to have noticed this.  I am sick and tired of church folks trying to sell raffle tickets to me its almost a weekly event – I guess as I happen to live surrounded by a church-going community… most of whom also play the numbers game every week also.  The last time I was approached was at the weekend as I left Fosters in countryside.  Someone tried to sell me ‘church’ raffle tickets for CI$10 each.

      • Anonymous says:

        Click the link Bill left above 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know what church you are talking about, but I have yet seen one in Cayman selling any raffle ticket.

    • Neil Townson says:

      Yes but no child ever went without food because Daddy spent all his wages on the Church raffle. I’m broadly in favour of legalising gambling (although as an ex-pat its not for me to say) but lets not pretend that real harm would not occur to some people. The Christians are simply pointing this out. I agree with a previous poster – don’t make this an anti-religion thing. If you want casino type gambling fine – but don’t pretend that some people would not suffer – categorically they would. The choice is, is that suffering sufficiently small to to justify the "benefits" of gambling? Many would say no, as is their right. Ignoring this and talking about Church raffles just makes it easy to ridicule the Church without looking at the whole issue.