The Brac: a casino or bust

| 24/03/2013

Most of the money circulating around Cayman Brac is sourced from government, in other words the majority of the jobs on the island are either within the public service or rely on public servants as customers. This plus a high social services tab means that the Brac economy is heavily dependent on government funding – a very unhealthy situation for all concerned, including people on Grand Cayman who have to pay for it.

For all the money that has been spent on the Brac over the last four years (such as the lovely dual carriageway with roundabouts in the middle of nowhere, the Hurricane Hilton, and the paving of private parking lots), absolutely nothing has been accomplished towards the long-term economic health of the island. Creating a few more government jobs doesn’t count. What Cayman Brac needs is a major boost to its private sector to make it less dependent on government, not more.

The one rather wobbly leg of private sector industry on Cayman Brac is tourism, which received a body blow when the Divi Tiara Beach Resort, one of only two hotels on the island at that time, suddenly closed in September 2006, and not just because of the 37 people who lost their jobs. Improving airlift, one of the main reasons cited by Divi for closing the resort, is even harder to justify with fewer passengers, so tourism suffers generally.

The only major project started under the UDP/UDP Lite administration (too late to see it anywhere near finished) that would have long term benefits to the Brac economy was the expansion of the airport, including the all-important addition of the baggage screening equipment required by the US for flights into that country. So far, only the enabling work has begun, and with scandal engulfing the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA), it’s uncertain now whether or not this project will continue.

Either way, Cayman Airways (or any other airline) could not add jet flights between the US and Cayman Brac without a guarantee of more passengers coming to the island or transiting to Little Cayman. In order to achieve this, the island needs the development of a good sized hotel, say 200+ rooms, but any developer prepared to build a resort of that size would need to feel confident that they could fill it.

So what does the Brac have to offer?

Both Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, which is a short hop away, offer world class diving. It’s why visitors have been coming here since the 70’s, and for this reason, if for no other, the people of Cayman Brac and their elected representatives should take the greatest care to protect the reefs and the creatures that inhabit them.

Rock climbing the Bluff is also world class, according to the serious climbers that come here. Skip Harper, author of an excellent travel book Adventuring on Cayman Brac, discovered the potential of the Brac as a climbing destination in the mid 1990’s. Since then, the climbers have created a number of climbing routes with titanium bolts, which they paid for themselves. What is needed now is a government that truly supports the development of rock climbing – already largely in place – so that it can be promoted as a primary attraction for the island, not more non-committal ‘yes, we’re looking into it’, which has become the norm for successive administrations.

The development of nature tourism on the island has been ongoing for the last 15 years, and will be an important secondary attraction for as long as it is adequately protected, especially the island’s limited wetlands. More boardwalks along some of the trails, some of which are pretty rough going, would have been a better investment in the island than paving the bank’s parking lot for free.

But there’s little else to bring travelers here – not much of a nightlife, no shopping to speak of, little in the way of protected waters for watersports, and no golf course. Rock climbing isn’t for everyone and the Brac’s nature tourism, given all the beautiful places in the region competing for this market, is never going to be a primary attraction for significant numbers of visitors.

Cayman Brac desperately needs another major pull to bring people here, and the only thing that would not destroy a large section of the island’s very limited natural resources but make a real impact on tourism is a casino.

Could the Divi Resorts Group be induced to rebuild on the Brac if a casino licence was on the table? Possibly, but we won’t know until the Cayman government (the next one) starts negotiating to find out what it would take. Tourism from the US and Canada is currently on the upswing, so it would seem to be a good time to reach out to them before they decide to invest somewhere else.

Sandy beaches protected by a reef barrier, of the type a major investor would be looking for, are in short supply on the Brac and are confined to a small corner in the southwest of the island. The property owned by the Divi Group, the site of the old Tiara, is prime beachfront land and Divi could have sold it many times over the last six and a half years. But they haven’t and have repeatedly stated in press interviews that they intend to rebuild, keeping the door open to a return to the Brac even while they were investing heavily on other Caribbean islands.

Divi has a chain of resorts – five in Aruba (where they also have a 30-foot artificial rock climbing wall), as well as hotels in Barbados, Bonaire, St Croix and St Maarten. Aside from Barbados, which has several golf courses available to guests, all of their resorts offer casinos as a major attraction, some of which are owned and operated by Divi itself – the Alhambra Casino in Aruba, the Divi Flamingo Casino in Bonaire, and the Carina Bay Casino in St Croix. So, clearly they have the experience to operate a casino on Cayman Brac and, importantly, the marketing resources to make it work.

But the other question is whether Brackers would accept the idea of a casino and lobby government to change the laws to legalise it, at least for the Brac if not for all three Cayman Islands.

To my mind, the question of gambling has been answered, as it has on Grand Cayman, by the ubiquitous presence and general acceptance of the illegal numbers racket. Any politician or concerned citizen who is truly against gambling on moral grounds should be working with the police to stamp it out. If they haven’t provided the RCIPS with a list of players and sellers, either they don't know what's going on or their protests are half-hearted at best. A casino would at least be legal, and therefore controlled, and a licence could be confined to hotel guests, thereby eliminating the negative social effects on the community (unlike numbers).

With the inevitable tightening of government spending, many of the unnecessary jobs on Cayman Brac and government handouts could dry up in an economy where people and businesses are already hanging on by their toes.

So, if it came down to a choice between a casino and the gradual demise of Cayman Brac, what then?

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I've been considering buying some land to constuct a villa on Brac. I intend to containerise a villa which would be designed here in London. The material would be sourced in Europe and North america and the ultimate objective would be a villa in maybe three containers.

    My impression of the Brac is it could be a very beautifully laid out tourist destination. However it needs to avoid the pitfalls of most waterside developments whether in Europe, North America or The Caribbean. I last visited a purpose built development in Bimini. It was truly dreadful. Badly designed unoriginal badly run and with poor service and food.

    International hoteliers are usually interested in charging top dollar whilst pay to locals remains low and most if not all the profit is shipped back to a foreign destination.

    Golf course resorts even in North America struggle if in the wrong location. Just building a course will not bring golfers in. Similarly building a casino would not bring in the hoped for high end patrons who give any casino it's cache'. Imagine if the Brac became some sort of Atlantic city. Or even worse a Caribbean Blackpool.

    There are no easy solutions but a small development planned around a restaurant and pool with Cabana type rooms might be a way forward.

    An operator might be allowed to start small, maybe 10 to 20 Cabana type rooms. I think exclusivity would be the right approach and with this in mind this is exactly where local labour could fit in. Training local labour to work in an environment that doesn't feel like it's destroying natural beauty, doesn't feel like it's shipping cattle in and out of concrete rooms with profits going outward. And with decent pay.

    There is a win win situation here but it does depend on the government not getting greedy if success becomes a reality. Any owner or investor would have to be sure that further development land would be available and not at a sky high price. Maybe pre-agreed options would be the way forward. 

     

    It's a tricky balancing act.

     

     

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    As a tourist that has frequented the Brac, I have a different perspective on how the island could potentially grow. Foreign direct investment typically spurs growth in emerging and established markets. FDI funds most major economies throughout the world and the same could be a potential in Brac. I often invest or start up local businesses that are either manufacturing, retail trade or services. With that being said, as an investor I see Brac ripe with opportunity, if laws and regulations were more lenient in Brac.

     

    While I understand controlling competition in Grand Cayman with increased licensing fees or prohibitions on sole proprietors for foreign investors, the same rules shouldn’t be applied in areas that could benefit from increased development. Personally, I would be willing to start a business in Brac, but the fees and costs are similar to Grand Cayman and the associated return is much lower so my choice naturally changes to Grand Cayman.

     

    Regards,

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    You can't blame the Brackers at all for them being dependent on the Government. You have to take into consideration the size of the island as well. It is not like GCM where someone can say ok, I want to open a shop and they go ahead and do it. Over here the island is small and there is little that can be done. If the government wants to make use of the place a tourist destination, they have to put more than they currently are into the island. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sport climbing on sharp dolomite rock in 90’F + temps does not have world class appeal, even in the eccentric rock climbing community. It takes a very specialized person to fly all the way to the Brac with their gear to mangle their fingers on a top-roped route called “chum buckets”. Sure, please come and try, but nobody is going to confuse this place with Yosemite. Let’s keep the conversation realistic.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Really feeling the hatred in this threat. Is it any wonder we make no progress? We can't even get along with each other.

    • Anonymous says:

      Brackers know nuthing about casinos better to turn the Brac into our national turtle  farm to protect the turtles and the endangered species who live there.

  6. Anon says:

    If you’re a tourist, why would you go to the brac? For diving it’s second best to little cayman and for beaches it’s third to the sister islands. The caves were awful and dirty when I visited. The bluff however was beautiful. But will you fly from us europe or north america to cayman brac for a bluff?

    My guess is that the reason the hotel closed in cb is because there is no interest from tourists or locals to go there.

    What else is out there? Maybe I missed something.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Maybe they should cut down on their drinking and drug taking and living of government handouts and subsidies and enter the real world like everyone else.  For so few people the Brackers don't half moan a lot about wanting things that they cant to pay for.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It's a point well made Nicky but you clearly have never lived anywhere that has introduced legalised gambling into a relatively small community and seen the chaos it causes, because if you had you wouldn't be making this case for having it on the Brac.

    Realistically, the answer to sorting out the ecomony of the Brac is a lot simpler because it is an ideal place for all-inclusive (AI) holidays.

    20 years ago I stayed at Divi and had previously stayed at the Brac Reef Beach Resort (that was 1992, shortly before the place changed hands). The accommodation at Divi was a bit patchy even back then but the island's potential for the AI market was already obvious. It just needed more investment.

    Rather than rushing into 'get rich quick' solutions why not go back to basics and look at what the island is good at – looking after tourists.

    Cayman Brac, despite all the advantages, has failed miserably when it comes to attracting any of the big name companies that have invested in places like the Maldives – as a journalist don't you ever wonder why that might be? My best guess would be too many people in positions of power trying to get a piece of the action. Big holiday/resort operators, despite common misconceptions, don’t like paying backhanders and will simply go somewhere else.

    I think there are more immediate problems that need to be addressed before you go re-inventing the wheel to ‘save’ Cayman Brac. I have just seen one of the best getaway places in the Bahamas destroyed by casino development, it’s not something you should be wishing on the Brac.

  9. Last of the Sea Urchin says:

    A good idea Nicky and one that should be seriously considered. However, I believe the idea should be limited to Cayman Brac and not the other two islands. This way anyone wishing to gamble would be forced to CB thus generating revenue and stimulating the economy there. I urge you to be cautious as there will the opportunity for corrupt politicians, mafias, prostitution, drugs, kidnapping and so on (not saying these are not here already but it will be on a larger scale) and you can bet on bodies washing up on shore with no finger nails or toes and some of these might be your very own loved ones. I guess you will have to take the good the ugly and the bad that comes with gambling.

    Recently I have found the heads of our churches have been very quite on the issue and I welcome their feedback on my comments and on the idea of gambling on our shores. Certainly this will change our way of life and they way we worship as I am certain there will be no day of rest as most casinos are open 7 days a week.

    So really think hard on your wishes as we may gain a strong and vibrant economy, however we could lose our children to the worst of the above and in the process our souls.

    May God continue to bless our islands.

    • Anon says:

      I do not agree with you. Cayman is an expensive destination catering generally to mid to high end tourist in terms of overnight stay. Look at Monaco, low crime compared to the rest of the civilized world. They have casinos but cater to the high end traveller. Niagara Falls is also has a low crime rate and has 2 casinos. Not many people without fingernails floating down the Niagara river.

      Cruise ships have casinos on board, do they attract the scum? No!

      It’s about having a high end casino at a high end resort like the ritz. Opening a casino in dog town or eastern avenue will get us into issues.

      • Anonymous says:

        There's no such thing as a "high end" casino. Go to a casino and look around you. Monte Carlo is high end for one week during the GP.

    • Anonymous says:

      Urchin:  So I've been to Vegas a few times, and you know pretty much every one there seemed to still have the right number of fingers and toes, thought there was one who had an extra finger on each hand (one of your loved ones maybe?), and there weren't any bodies lying around either (OK, well MY cousin was lying around but that was tequila-induced and not a mob hit).  For sure the locals need to be banned from the casinos and that kind of action left to the expats and tourists.  The churches won't have a comment until they see how to get their hands on the money as well, then they'll weigh in.

  10. Anonymous says:

    the brac is bust… it is a complete and utter welfare state that has to be supported by every worker in the private sector (95% of which are on grand cayman)….

    cut them loose and see if the great braccers can stand on their own 2 feet….

    • Loopy Lou says:

      100% agree.  They want deductions, and subsidies and special treatment and yet they tell us they are the great entrepreneurs.  Well like any junkie, just cut off their supply and see what happens.

      • Anonymous says:

        Here another idea. How about all the rich Brackers in GC just sell out to Dart (He will eventually get it anyway) and move back to and invest in the Brac. That would solve all the problems  on the Brac. Leave GC to their own devices.

         

  11. Anonymous says:

    We are Canadians who bought some land and built a small vacation home on the Brac. We chose it specifically over the other 2 islands because the pace of life was slower, has no traffic to speak of, but it had enough infrastructure (e.g. hospital, library, etc.) and no chain establishments, which we tire of seeing everywhere else we go. We absolutely love the Brac and the people there and hope to spend more time there as we approach retirement.

    We think the Brac has loads to offer in the way of eco-tourism. It is such a pleasure to walk through natural places and just listen to the birds and see the lizards and different plants than we're used to. Getting into the water is a real treat, and we don't even dive! It's sometimes hard to appreciate the uniqueness of your environment when you live in a place. For example, we get excited to see a conch shell that locals disregard and throw away at the beach. Simple beauty is worth preserving and promoting.

    Paving the roads was a great first step. We noticed new "way finding" orange signs this time that were really helpful. The airport facility has adequate seating, but the restroom could use some updating (the Owen Roberts one is really nice). Tourists like these sorts of ammenities.

    I think a tastefully done small casino could be a boon to the Brac. However, it doesn't need to be goverment run for the Cayman people to benefit. In Canada, we have legal gambling, with the goverment taking a huge percentage of the income. Our goverment is also fond of Public/Private partnerships, where they get to maintain some control and standards over the operation (e.g. government level salaries or union wages mandated).

    The source of funds from these ventures are needed to run our province, but they also provide "gaming grants" to community groups, schools and other non-profit organizations for projects or programs. Some of the money is also set aside to fund gambling addiction services for anyone needing them. Tourists enjoy spending money in a casino, and it would give them something to do at night besides go to the Brac Reef.

    Tying the development of the casino to another needed project such as a marina is a sensible idea. However, the people have to decide on their own future. Community round tables might be a good idea to get the ball rolling.

    Someone needs to have a real vision for the Brac. It is an amazing place to visit, in partbecause of what it doesn't have. If overdeveloped, the loss for Brakkers and all Caymanians could be irreversable.

    As Joni Mitchell sang, don't "pave paradise, and put up a parking lot".

  12. Anonymous says:

    Government owned casino's would be a solution, so profits flow back to the community.

    Privately owned casinos won't work, since profits go to one man.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      The last thing we need is a government-owned casino. They are the only enterprise that LOSES money selling drugs!

      If you doubt me then check the records for the hospital pharmacy for the last 20 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      nonsesne..the gov would making its money from gaming liscenses…..

    • Anon says:

      No way! How much of the fees that govt currently collects seem to be going to the community? The govt collects more than ever and our community is poorer then ever. Furthermore, how many profitable businesses the govt runs that you know of?

      Govt should collect annual trade and business licensing fees or a casino licensing fee. However, I am a bit skeptical about casino license fee as the govt would probably establish an entire “gambling board” comprised of x amount of people to collect the fee from the only casino.

      Create a new t&b category and done!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Casinos are just another tax, a tax on being stupid. We will just gamble that there are enough stupid people who fly in to lose their money to outweigh the number of local people who lose all their money. Complicating matters in cayman is how stupid the government is and how bad a deal they will negotiate with the casino developers, giving them land and duty concessions, such that we get no net benefits at all from it, making the while thing just a hot sticky mess for future generations to figure out.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not every rock in the ocean like the Brac can have a vibrant self supporting economy. A casino would wreck the place  If you think Cayman has done poorly on the dock, the dump, the airports, the highrises, the downtown, the "free trade zone", or the schools, wait till you see the free-for-all that handing out casino licenses will degenerate into. The last thing the Brac needs is a bunch of blackjack dealers and cocktail "waitresses."

  14. Anonymous says:

    It's been said that there are very few government "jobs" on Cayman Brac, but plenty of government SALARIES!) – and where does this cross into vote-buying? Ditto the Turtle Farm in West Bay. Remember folks, this costs the rest of us. The money has to come from somewhere. What might have seemed like an unlimited gravey train has hit reality. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    I can only hope that if Divi comes back to the Brac, that they at least give people value for their money.  I stayed there about 7 years ago and our first room had bugs in the beds.  We asked to have the linens changed and were told that there was nobody on site who could do it at that time, so they moved us to another room.  The second room had clearly not been occupied for months, given the number of dead creatures in the bathroom, and the smoke detector beeped every 10 mins or so ALL NIGHT (again, nobody there who could actually help us).  Combine that with the overpriced buffet and we were sure to never return!!

     

     

  16. Based on a true story says:

    That is a good suggestion Nicky. And a way out of endless government dependence. There will of course be a lot of resistance to the idea of a casino as a means of income for Cayman Brac. Some of these will be for religious beliefs or others. Curiously, these same people seem to be content with politicians who don’t seem to give a whit. These same politicians are blinded to the plight of citizens. As long as they and their ‘friends’ and ‘associates’ are doing alright in their investments or thankful to be on the government payroll. I believe all Brackers want is a form of control over their destiny. If these suggestions might do that then the next step would be for Brackers to ask politicians what plan they have in mind. The election is nearing. Now is the time.

  17. Frank says:

    Government workers in Cayman Brac are laughing all the way to the bank at the governments expense. I would guarantee that an independant audit performed on the brac would highlight the outstanding amount of extra people that are on government payroll and are not needed. It is a lazy mans paradise. When the larger percentage of your population is being suppported by government as mentioned above, how do you expect the economy to perform at all.

  18. Anonymous says:

    About time someone gave Government an ultimatum Nicky and called their Bluff on Cayman Brac. There is no will from the politicians and the monopolies that control Cayman Brac to create an economy independant from Government and JOC. She is only interested in controlling her people by giving them handouts and wielding her power.  The only reason this has not happened on the Brac is that our "Honorable Members" and the controlling "BIG THREE Families" haven't yet figured out a legal way to fill their own pockets from the proceeds of a casino.  Right now they are a little dumbfounded with trying to prepare annual financial reports and dooping Brackers into buying rotten/ expired groceries at an oppressive cost. People wake up we need some new boots on the ground in the Brac.  Thanks for being one of them Nicky!

    • Anonymous says:

      I give this comment a BIG Thumbs Up for the mention of  Cayman Brackers duped into buying EXPIRED groceries at an oppressive cost . While on the Brac,  we had such an experience and I am still FUMING about it!

      We have a place to stay on the Brac and enjoy both eating out and cooking and entertaining for friends there, so we shop there as opposed to bringing groceries from Cayman although it would be a LOT cheaper for us to do as we travel with just carry-on bags so we could fill suitcases with food. But we try to patronise the Brac stores as they seem to need all the business they can get.

      Cheese for hor d'oeuvres was on my shopping list. At one Brac store I saw some cheeses that had a bright colour price sticker close next  to the regular price sticker, it was obvious that these were marked down in price.  Just as I guessed, the dates on the packs were EXPIRED! They were selling for 99c for the 8 ounce pack.  Not too bad. But mind you that this is VERY little less than we pay in Grand Cayman for a very FRESH pack of cheese when the stores have cheese in their newspaper specials, and that's very often. Since I was serving guests I passed on the on stale cheese and bought three fresh 8 ounce packs, eachg cost what I would pay for a whole POUND pack in Grand Cayman.

      On our next trip not too long ago our friends were coming over for a dinner, cheese for cheese balls was on my list . I noticed the same store as before had some cheese at a little better price than what I paid last time, but still WAY more than we pay in Cayman. So I picked up three packs as before. Mind you, all the packs had REGULAR white price stickers.  Imagine my feelings of shock and dismay when I got home and we discovered that all three packs were EXPIRED!  And I paid a LOT MORE for this STALE cheese that I would have paid for FRESH cheese in Grand Cayman!  My dismay turned to anger when I noticed that the price stickers on ALL THREE packs were placed carefully over the regular price stickers. So there was no way to tell if the cheese was marked down and expired unless you carefully read the fuzzy expire date.  Giving the store the benefit of the doubt we went back and to my shock and surprise we found DOZENS of packs of cheese similarly market with the new price sticker placed carefully over the old. NONE were marked with a different colour sticker!  Very clever! ALL of the cheese marked like this was well OUTDATED!  If this was not a devious attempt to dupe Brac customers into buying stale cheese at oppressive cost I will eat my hat!

      Regular prices for groceries on Cayman Brac are bad enough being 1.5  times to 3 times Grand Cayman prices. I simply do not understand why we must pay about twice as much and sometimes way MORE for many items on the Brac than we pay pay on Grand Cayman!  What is strange is that we go the liquor stores on the Brac and we pay the SAME or VERY LITTLE more for our favourite wines, beer and liquoras we do in Grand Cayman!!  Why are the Brac liquor stores able to sell at about Grand Cayman prices but Brac grocery stores charge WAY more  then needed to make up for extra shipping?  Will someone tell me this please? Personally we think a big part of this is GREED! Piracy is alive and well on Cayman Brac!

      To be fair I've seen that other Brac stores regularly mark down expired goods and those stores I have always seen bright coloured tags on their mark down items if they are old or expired. And one of those stores is very fair about their pricing because I asked a clerk and the clerk said they mark down up to 75% off for expired stuff than regular price.

      In so may ways I feel outrage. I am still livid!  One that I was among the people duped by this store being so greedy and devious. And two, that the amount that the store increased the price of marked down OUTDATED cheese over the last time I was in that store. This is an example of sinful GREED and love of money pure and simple!   You can bet next trip we will do as we have seen several Brackers do when they travel back home, we will pass shopping on the Brac and carry what basics we need from Grand Cayman! No more being duped into buying expired groceries at an oppressive cost for this cookie! 

      Our Brac friends tell me there are several groups and families of Brackers who pool together and buy in bulk from places like Cost-You-Less and Priced Right and save a pile of money on their groceries even with shipping added. Way less than half in some cases!! I bet if more Brackers get in on this then Brac grocers will find a way to lower prices or go out of business. Maybe it's asking a lot to get gambling there even though it would be a huge boost for the Brac economy. But I know the Brac needs a good lower cost grocery store! Every Cayman Bracker I know says this! I hope somebody is listening! Sorry for the long posting but I needed to get this off my chest and out in the open.

  19. Truth says:

    Cayman Brac (like Grand Cayman) has been run foolishly by fools.  Anyone with a better than 5th grade education can see that with their own eyes.  They can also see that there will be little change in the future.  Plan accordingly.  Trying to get a fool to do a smart thing is the same as trying to get a smart person to do a foolish thing.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I have been saying for years link the casino licenses to new development. Build a hotel and a golf course? Build a hotel and the airport expansion? Build a hotel and the dock? These folks should get the licenses. Not the owners of the Stingray City restaurant barge rusting up by Yacht Club.

  21. Calling your Bluff says:

    I wouldn’t bet on a casino anytime soon. 😉

  22. Anonymous says:

    My inclination is to prefer a graudual demise of Cayman Brac, followed bya sale of the island to the Chinese.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Shetty could build a “Health City” on the Brac

    • Buffalo Bill says:

      Thanks for the suggestion, but we already have enough boondoggles here.

      • Anonymous says:

        That's it!!!! The CIG can put up a Museum of Modern Boondoggles on the Brac and showcase everything they've (not) done over the last 2 election cycles.  Only problem would be the lawsuits from the Chinese, the financiers and the consultants over the boondoggle that will be the Museum of Modern Boondoggles on the Brac… maybe we could sell tickets to watching that as the first boondoggle to be showcased in the Museum of Modern Boondoggles on the Brac?

  24. Anonymous says:

    I don't know about casinos but basically you are right:  Cayman Brac is dead.  

    The locals are going to play numbers no matter what.  I think a national lottery would be better and like any other countries before they get a pay out, they should have to pay their bills like child support or any fines that they owe goverment such as hospital or garbage fees.

    Hurricane Hilton is employing work permit holders. The PWD building that was started by Phoenix was better.  They didn't bring over their own men; they hired the men here.  That is another thing that needs to happen.  Make these companies hire the locals here first and then what people that they can't find here, then they can bring over the permit holders.

    DIVI is full of it.  They are makingexcuses for their screw ups.  They siphoned money to the other properties and wouldn't maintain Tiara Beach. 

    • NeoSurvivor says:

      Agree on all counts.   

      I think this is a very timely Viewpoint.    We can either:

      1)  continue to allow the numbers (no government income)

      2)  national lottery (government gets a cut)

      3)  national lottery and casino (government gets a bigger cut)

       

      Of the three, I think it's time for a lottery, with a structured benefit to specific government budget items, AND a casino.   I believe a casino could possibly work better — at least initially — on the Sister Islands than on Grand Cayman.    It could bear more oversight, and perhaps even be structuredto funnell into projects that would enhance the experience, such as a marina on the Brac.  

       

      A casino on the Brac could be a 'test project', involving much less risk by the CIG than On Grand Cayman.   If it is successful, then the model could be imported to the other islands.   

       

      It seems fairly evident that regardless of a person's view on gambling as a social ……. variable ……..  it is better to have gambling within the context of governmental controls and oversight than the current manner in which it is conducted.    I have nothing against any of the individuals conducting the numbers — they're making their way in the manner that they know, just as all of us.    Why shouldn't ALL the people benefit from gambling?    That's a question that seems difficult to discuss in the Cayman Islands;  some would rather pretend that by ignoring what is happening on all three islands somehow affects the earnings of the numbers folk.    People ARE going to gamble.   The government should profit from it, and wisely utilise those profits to the betterment of the community. 

      • Old Sea Captain says:

        We cannot afford to keep the Brac. Just check from the years 2001 to 2012 to see how much the Government has spent on the Brac and compare the revenue collected from the Brac for the same period and the figures would shock the population of Grand Cayman. It would be cheaper if we simply relocated all the families that live on the Brac to Grand Cayman and give them each a new house. By doing this we could save millions of dollars as we wouldn't have to duplicate so much infrastructure for just a fewhundred people. By doing this we could sell the Brac to Dart as he wants to have his own island and he could do as he wished over there.

        • Anonymous says:

          You can keep that hell hole of Grand Cayman.  Brackers don't want to move there.  I have a better suggestion: make Grand Cayman the Grand Dart and the Sister Islands can become the Cayman Islands.  All the businesses except DART can move to the new Cayman Islands.  Any and all land owned by DART in the new Cayman Islands is immediately reverted to the new government.

          Also, since Julie likes DART so much, she can stay in DART Cayman.  We'll have an election without the 5 and UDP.  All Independents, C4C and PPM is welcome to run in the new Cayman Islands.

          • Anonymous says:

            agree ….. sort of …… with your sentiment.    I hate to break it to you like this:   Dart already owns a lot of properties on the Brac.

            • Anonymous says:

              Please note that I said all land owed by DART in the new Cayman Islands will revert to the said government and in exchange they can have Grand Cayman completely to themselves.  

          • Anonymous says:

            Dart is already on Cayman Brac

          • Anonymous says:

            Dart has the plan laid out and is implementing it.  Unless we do something major and soon, the Dart takeover of the country will proceed as planned.

            Soon we will lament we ever heard the name Dart.  Oh yes Cayman will be all new and well done. But it will not be for Caymanians  our new national song will be the old standartd.  "Sixteen Tons", I Owe My Soul to the Company Store.

            We will have lost control of our own country.

          • Anonymous says:

            Perhaps, Brackers should pay their own way!

             

  25. Anonymous says:

    casinos are needed on alll islands not just the brac…… can you imagine the warped twisted wonderland we would live in if you could only gamble on the brac but not grand cayman????….

    let adults decide what they want to do….. XXXX

    • The Pastafarian says:

      I beg to differ.  Casinos are NOT needed in the islands!  They are evil businesses that siphon away money from ignorant people that can't afford to lose it.  The casinos make money,  The government makes money.  The people get increased crime and violence that we don't need!

      • Anonymous says:

        I'm not sure Grand Cayman could be much more scary.

        Muggings take place on a daily basis.

        Tires are slashed on Police cars at an East End party and rocks are thrown at police officers and no one knows who did it.

        But personally I'd sooner fight crime and not have a casino.

        Certainly eco-tourism, rock climbing and diving could be developed if there was somewhere decent and clean to stay.

        You would need also a climbing instructor and equipment rental. And a decent map showing the climbing routes.

        But why should any Bracker bother if they can have government jobs doing nothing?

        • Anonymous says:

          It's government against the rock climbing not Brackers.  We could also have a climbing academy.  Maybe, we could have future climbers of Mount Everest train train here.

        • Anonymous says:

          I read all of these comments about a casino is the answer to all the problems on the Brac. Just look around and see what a wonderful place it is. Keep it a nice quiet place to visit and promote this and people will come.

          I would not fly from England to sit in a casino.