Miller backs lottery as potential revenue source

| 23/02/2009

(CNS): While many of the independent candidates are talking about the need for a new kind of political leadership as they declare their intentions to run, Ezzard Miller is one of the first to talk about specific revenue raising measures — a fundamental part of being in government.  Speaking to CNS, Miller, who will be running in North Side said that a legal national lottery could raise a significant amount of money for the country’s coffers.

“The government needs to look at the lottery issue seriously,” Miller said. “The laws must represent what is happening in the community and we have a significant number of people currently involved in gambling. It would be better to tap into that revenue and utilise it for important things like educating Caymanians to play a more significant role in our financial services.”

Known for his outspoken opposition to the number of work permit holders currently in Cayman, Miller said any loss of revenue to the Treasury if work permits were reduced could be replaced through an increase in some permit fees, but the veteran politician, who served two terms in the legislator between 1984 and ’92, said that current excessive increase in permits and not helped to boost the country’s GDP.

“The country’s GDP has gone from 5% in 2001 to 0.9% in 2007/08,” he said. “The increase of work permits by some 25% has seen the GDP falling. There is something wrong with that,” he added. 

He said that, in the past, the size of the financial pie in Cayman was enough to absorb all Caymanians who wanted to play a part in the economy, but now even though we had an historic high when it came to work permit holders, more and more Caymanians were being left out of the picture. He said there was a need to manipulate the scholarship system and the work permit system to match things up so that each year the private sector and government sponsored a sufficient number of local students to match the projected positions that needed to be filled.

Miller also cited the need for a ‘Job Tsar’, as he said the policy of having the immigration department manage the country’s labour force needs was not working. “A Job-Tsar would supervise the allocation of permits and the number of available vacancies. The Tsar could watch out for the interests of Caymanians and manage the process of placing them in jobs,” he added, noting that Cayman based firms had to offer more entry level positions to young Caymanians.

He said that Cayman was in desperate need of its own financial institution where Caymanians could qualify for accountancy positions and which would also introduce a professional Cayman Accountancy qualification. “We need a Cayman CPA and anyone wanting to come here must pass Cayman’s accountancy exams before the practice in the jurisdiction,” he said, arguing that Caymanian accountants and other professionals don’t necessarily need international experience to work in our own offshore industry. He said if that was required the firms should take on the responsibility of sending our people overseas to gain that necessary experience.

Talking about his own motives for running as an independent candidate, he said he wanted to offer the people of North Side better representation as they had been ignored during the last administration by the incumbent Edna Moyle, who is the Speaker of the House.

He said he did not see himself in a ministerial role but wanted to offer constructive criticism from the back bench to keep government honest. “I am running on my track record. I did a lot when I was in the house in the past for my community and I know how to bring private members bills and how to get the people’s voice heard in the Legislative Assembly,” he said.

He explained that, although he had retired from politics to do other things in his life, he had been fortunate enough to achieve those goals and, given what was happening in Cayman now, he felt the time was right for him to return. Miller noted that of the two existing political parties, if necessary he was prepared to support the United Democratic Party to form of a government but was not interested in running on the ticket of any specific party and would seek to maintain his independence.

Miller’s fist public meeting will take place on 10 March at the North Side Civic Centre at 8pm. 

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Category: Election 2009

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  1. Twyla M Vargas says:


    I am just curious if that is called gambling, game of chance, raffel or what?  

    Games of chance will continue, as long as there is money and people on this earth.  What we need to do is control that underground lottery by offering a national lottery.   I am very sure it is going to be needed to bail out Cayman from the financial situation it is in from borowed money.   Support Mr Ezzard Miller in North Side he has got good ideas behind his belt.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Lotteries are immoral and once again the churches are silent because they drink at that same trough. Lotteries and raffles feed the same human weakness. Those who support the lottery are not the people who will perhaps be spending their child’s milk money for another ticket.

    Unfortunately the people who can ill afford to lose are the mose frequent gamblers. The lottery supporters know all this and don’t care.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lotteries are a significant tax on the poor and the desperate, and those who do not understand the basic concept of odds.

    If you want gambling, make sure to set aside a reasonable percentage of profits for counseling gambling addicts, and rectifying the social and financial impact which their addiction will have on their families and friends.

    People who play lotteries generally think they can beat the odds and get something for nothing.

    People who support lotteries fall for the same trick.

    In life, shiny bucketfuls of money usually come at a price.

    In the case of lotteries, odds are that that price you pay will be slightly greater than the amount of money in the bucket.


    • Twyla M Vargas says:

      BUYING LOTTERY and gambling

      That will never be removed from Cayman, because 95% of the people are buying and 95% are selling it.

      People buy lottery before they go to church and the first thing they want to know when they get out is "What Play"  Its called  "A game of Chance"   Can we think of the many things we do that is "A game of Chance"

      I believe someone should search up the truth on this and give it to the readers.  WHAT REALLY IS GAMBLING?   WHAT REALLY IS A GAME OF CHANCE?   Are they the same thing, if so.  Does the Bible say anything about Gambling.   Are we gamblig in our chuches? Are we gambling at Bingo parties.  Are we gambling, when we scratch and win.  Are we gambling when we buy gas at gas stations hoping to win the draw?  Are we gambling when we spend 25.00 ticket to win that car?  Are we gambling when we buy tickets at church functions.  What really is gambling anyway?   If it is recorded in God,s Comandments to us, I do not think we should do it.   So lets hear it from those who can educate us on gambling.  The truth.

  4. noname says:

    Why was LIME not prosecuted for its illegal gambling promotion?

  5. Jab-Jab says:

    No To Gambling!

    Mr. Miller (or anyone aligned with him) will not be getting my vote.

    Can anyone cite one country where loteries or gambling is legal and they have actually managed to raise enough money to fully fund the pro-social services they keep claiming are the real beneficiaries fo gambling? Oh, and that haven’t had to redirect some of that pro-social money to Gambling Counseling (which wasn’t needed before they started gambling)?

    Vote Lotteries. A tax on the mathematically challenged.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Put an end to all These gambling rackets in Cayman where only the few Big guys are making the money driving around in their expensive cars and lifestyles. it doesn’t bode well for our image as a decent and upright place. I would support however a national organised lottery. lets move away from these seedy and sinister run operations which tends to bring undesireable elements into our society. some politicians and would be politicians on the other hand need to stop excepting funds or gifts from these unscrupulous persons, need i say more.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree, a spade is a spade!  What on earth is the difference between LIME text "raffling", and churches, Rotary, etc running raffles???  Of course it is all gambling.  Gambling means you spend cash in hopes to win something of more value than you spend.  Simple!

    It is just hypocritical to call some things gambling and the others "raffling" when in fact it is totally all just plain old gambling!!

    If the Government doesn’t want to "legalize" gambling then they need to stop all the raffling that goes on!!  Or else, legalize gambling/raffling. 

    I don’t agree with gambling, i think it causes great financial stress and distress in alot of homes and families.  Many people become addicted to slot machines, etc like alcohol or drug addiction, thereby causing great financial distress in their home if they are the provider or one of the providers to the home.   

    But neither do i agree with hypocrisy.  If all this raffling which is really gambling is legal, then it is hypocrisy to not let other kinds of gambling be legal just the same.  They are all one and the same and absolutely no different.  It is better to be truthful than false or hypocritical.  Even if the truth is exposing sin.  Jesus can deal with sinners, but he cannot deal with hypocrites.  (Matthew 23)

  8. Anonymous says:

    You know what is strange is that the Religious groups are against gambling yet i have never heard one single church or pastor call for illegal gambling or numbers to be stopped in the Cayman Islands. Some even get money or donations unknowingly  from some of these kingpins of  these illegal operations we all know who they are and what they are doing. This needs to be stopped and the country should benefit from a national lottery now. Close down these illegal number businesses and dealers Cayman.

  9. silvia says:

    We are behind This Mr Miller 100% Put all these illegal lottery Dons and houses number sellers out of business and stop the corruption associated with these illegal lottery operations and for those hypocrites who talk about vice and gambling pay your dues to government and give up your exemptions then you can talk to the people about right and wrong.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I agree entirely with the idea of a natioanl lottery. The "underground  lottery " is raking in exorbitant sums of money .


    Lotteries fund educational projects, roadwork projects etc etc in other civilized areas of the world why are we living in denial!!! Lotteries are usual for fundraisers here in Cayman! Each time you purchase a raffle ticket for a worthy cause that is a lottery!!!! Come on Cayman! The "numbers man" is racking up the money and the government really needs to boost their coffers!! Who would you rather support!! Wake up pretenders and get real . I wish I could win something!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Never mind the church (and Rotary etc etc) running lotteries once a year, LIME seem to be running one every week – ‘texts cost only $1 to enter’…

  12. Phil McCraken says:

    Every year St. Ignacious Church have a lottery. You pay money for a ticket with the chance of a large cash prize.

    It’s gambling pure and simple.

    If it’s ok there, why not a state run lottery?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Miller you must be commended for your courage in making a public stand on this issue, the review of the betting and gaming law to accommodate a national lottery is timely. This  would be accommodating practice that is currently illegal but thriving irrespective of additional expence in actions to deter. The untapped income stream for illegal gaming managers is unbeleavable bountiful for such a small country. Curent practice of conducting raffles while rewarding for service organisations and their target benificiaries is illegal in the pedantic sence.

    Realisable revenue from this source could easily fund public specific needs which are not naturally self sufficient but indespensible such as health service and education.

    Investment portfolios for current Cayman pension providers could have a access to another instrument with incredibly reliable returns.

    Mr. Miller your suggestion is an indication of a possible positive solution for inescapable, practical problems

  14. Beach Bum says:

    I have to admit this idea has merit. It is mind boggling how much money is spent locally playing in overseas Lotteries.

    Every week workmates play the Central American lottery.Right now we are intrigued by the Florida powerball. Everyone who is going away is given a US$20 to bring us back tickets. That too is a revenue source for Florida education.

    However my only worry is setting it up and the proper administratrion of it. It has to be done properly or not at all. And if so can we afford the expense? But saying that the money will at least stay in the economy.