Gambling vote to go ahead

| 07/06/2010

Cayman IslandsNews, Grand Cayman Island headline news(CNS): As the gambling debate continues, the premier says he plans to hold a vote on the subject in November of this year. McKeeva Bush has said that the matter needs to be settled and the people will get a chance to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’.  Although no details about how the vote will be conducted have yet been revealed, it is very unlikely that anyone other than those on the electoral register will be able to participate. If the premier opts for a constitutional referendum, only the 15,000 or so registered voters will be entitled to cast their ballot. Although the debate has heated up over the last few days, with those in favour of legalisation dominating the CNS posts and the radio waves, an official referendum may still produce a ‘no’ vote.

The Cayman Minister Association has already submitted a petition to government with over 1200 signatures against gambling, and the church leaders have said they intend to campaign against the introduction of any form of gambling if the government goes ahead with a referendum. Those against legalised gambling tend to be older members of the Caymanian population who are more likely to be registered voters.
Much of the support for gambling is coming from the private sector as well as ex-pat residents and there has been little overt political support for its introduction. With the exception of Ezzard Miller, the independent representative from North Side, no other MLAs have publicly supported legalisation.  The PPM has said publicly that it has always opposed and continues to oppose any form of legalised gambling and the premier has not revealed either his own position or the UDP’s policy on the issue.
Speaking to News27 last week, the premier said that he would be seeking to settle the matter once and for all.  “I am planning to have a vote in November and I encourage people who want to vote ‘no’ to come out against it and those who want to vote ‘yes’ to play their democratic role, but the matter must be settled now,” Bush said.
The premier has also stated that once the people have the chance to vote on the subject, if they vote ‘no’ the police will start clamping down on the illegal numbers game, which is said to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars ever weekend for the black market as many residents are believed to play one of at least three illegal lotteries.
With the advent of online gambling, many people are also able to gamble at home on their computers and participate in overseas lotteries, which is almost impossible for the police to prevent and which is seen by many as lost revenue to the local economy.
Support for gambling is coming for various sectors of the community but there is not a single body or organisation campaigning directly for its legalisation. Although the Cayman Islands Tourist Association and the Chamber of Commerce had their names associated with an open letter from Michael Ryan to the local press listing a number of alternatives to direct taxation including gambling, the two bodies have denied offering their full support.
Both CITA and the Chamber have stated that their respective memberships have mixed opinions on the subject but say they support a referendum on the topic. In both CNS polls on the subject around 80% of voters who have participated have said they are in favour of some form of gambling or a national lottery.  Over 140 comments were posted on the most recent news story on CNS (See Anti-gamblers gather support) with many readers expressing strong opinions in favour of some form of gambling.

Results of the first poll

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  1. Anonymous says:

    ….And here’s Austrailia’s experience of the gambling industry. It clearly brings in much revenue but are we inviting another "social emergency"

    • Anonymous says:

      You have people right on these islands now that are addicted to gambling so either make it legal or get rid of all of it 

      • Anonymous says:

        That statement is obviously illogical. The point is that once gambling is legal persons who would not have gambled before will gamble and number of addictions is likely to dramatically increase. This is but one of the social costs. Unfortunately people are blinded by the $$$ and the thought that this may avert any direct taxation and are not weighing up the pros and the cons.    

    • anonymous says:

      I am not for gambling really but the churches do it all the time.

      I and others have criticized the premier when he does questionable things.

      But to criticise him in attempt to resolve the illegal gambling in the Cayman Islands is like criticizing the US government for fixing their broken immigration  system with a need for reform and comprehensive immigration.

      YOu must take your hat off to the premier for fixing the broken illegal gambling problem! What is wrong with you people?   Government is struggling taking all the time of the premier in his first year trying to balance the budget having to beg the UK to borrow funds to run government with.

      Billions of dollars are generated annually in illegal gambling, take out your calculator and find the formula.

      Mr. McKeeva Bush is too darned smart to let the bookies get over him on this gambling issue and I don’t blame him. If they must gamble, then their gambling must be of some value to government in reducing Government’s debt!

      Money for Education

      Money for Affordable Housing

      Money for small bussinesses

      Money for Medical Care

      Money to keep criminals off the street and keep them occupied with honest livelihood.

      IF YOU oppose him on this one, you need to "Kick Yourself in the Shin" and if the premiere allow you to stop him from fixing this broken illegal gambling system which he should fix with or without a referendum, then he should Kick himself in the shin as well. As a matter of fact I never heard of a referendum being called for when the laws on the books are already being broken.  Mr. premier go ahead and do what you have to do. Enforce the law and  legalize the gambling with a national lottery, Its out of your hands and God won’t charge you for it. He will charge yo if you allow those bookies to beat you to the bank smiling all the way weekly with their millions. While you spend many sleepless nights making your family worry about your health trying to balance the budget! 


      so show them what you got Big Mac, legalize the   gambling with a National Lottery. And put some of that money in the govt treasury while you at it !

      • Anonymous says:

        First it is rubbish to say that "the churches do it (gambling) all the time". Most churches do not permit any sort of gambling, including raffles PERIOD. This is one of those claims that is so often repeated that people begin to assume that it is fact. It is not.   

        Second, the Premier is not "trying to resolve illegal gambling in the Cayman Islands". Quite simply I believe the Premier wants to introduce casinos but fears that he will lose the support of the churches and so he tries to hide  behind a referendum of **residents** (not registered voters as per the Constitution) so that he can say it is what "the people" wanted.  One day he is doing God’s way by having a national day of public prayer, and the next day he is doing it the devil’s way by wanting to introduce casinos. Which is it, Mr. Premier? You cannot serve God and Mammon. Your disguise is beginning to wear thin. 

        Permitting casinos will not stop the numbers racket and all the social evils that accompany it.  


  2. Anonymous says:

    The following is a link to an article which appeared in the Jamaica Gleaner last September and which contains a very helpful and apparently unbiassed discussion of the issue of casino gmabling.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I vote No. No no no! 

    I am aware that having a casino would make Cayman more alluring to those with an interest in gambling, increase visitors to the island and create new jobs. However there are more important questions to ask and things to consider: where would they put one? Will the development of one result in the destruction of more mangroves? congest SMB/GT area? More foreigners would have to come down to fill the job requirements because they are not enough ppl currently on island with the qualifications or experience needed for this industry. Yes, having more people residing here would increase sales at local businesses etc but it won’t have the direct effect on the currently unemployed that I believe the Government is looking for. I also think that having a casino will correlate with a higher crime rating. Let’s consider this situation: If i were looking to rob someone for money, where would I think a good target for ppl with cash on them be? If I were a "smart" criminal I’d hang around outside the establishment and follow gamblers. When you cash out your winnings and you’re off to celebrate with your friends, you could become a target.

    I really just don’t think a casino would be successful in Cayman. This is a huge, capital intensive investment.Cayman is a relaxation spot, divers and beach lovers paradise. I don’t think poker, roulette and slot machines. If I wanted to gamble I would go somewhere like Vegas or Atlantic City. Cayman, to me, doesn’t fit the scene I would be looking for. When I gamble, I want to see the lifestyle of the rich & famous; spending money and more money, and I want to party hard as ever. Sure, locals could go there but I don’t see this venture as long term profitable. And when it isn’t, people will be laid off and this property will sit vacant.

    What will we gain?

    • Anonymous says:

      Could the pastors stop passing around the offering plate  and STOP asking the members for 10% of there paycheck? This would show me that Money is not important for them instead of trying to have the biggest church, best sound system etc.

       Far i’m concerned they dont need Big Airconditioning units or all the spectacular lights to praise the lord! Ahmen.

  4. blogamous says:

    It is interesting to seee that the Premier will proceed to put in place measures for a poll to be taken in this matter because the private sector wants it, but fails to implement the law that would allow voters to exercise their constitutional rights under people initiated referendums. 

    I encourage voters to put in their petititions under the constitution and demand a referendum on the issue – let us see how swift our Premier would be to implement this the law for the referendum…..If he and his Cabinet does not pass the law, perhaps a constitutional challenge before the Courts would move it along.


  5. Anonymous says:

    It is amazing that Caymanians don’t mind building an entire economy from the money of Tax Evaders, but think casino gambling is a "sin" and should not be legalized in their Island.

    • Tough says:

      Don’t forget the money launderers and drug money, they built the foundations of the economy too.

      • Anonymous says:

        The people who were involved with the moneylaunderers and tax evaders and benefitted the most were expats – same people pushing gambling now.  

        • Anonymous says:

          Absolutely right. By and large, the financial industry millionaires from the ’70s and ’80s are who? Funny, when credit is being claimed for the financial industry expats are proud to proclaim that they ARE the financial industry. Suddenly, if a seamy underside is at issue, it is the "Caymanians" who are at fault.    

  6. Vote "NO" to Gambling

  7. Mat says:



    Whilst gambling may generate revenue, I guarantee over a time of having much fun – gambling will increase more expenditure than revenue by increasing crime!



    • Anonymous says:

      Why then do you not see rampant crime in Monte Carlo or Macau?!?  It is because crime is a byproduct of poverty and social neglect.  The Caribbean gambling states you allude to arrived at their social situation long before the casinos came along; their governments were broke to begin with, and they neglected their people, and they turned to drugs.  I agree that theirs is not a good model for us to follow, but you cannot attribute the social consequences of a drug culture to the advent of casino tourism.  

      • Anonymous says:

        you don’t see it there because it’s white collar crime, which is a higher class of crime that we don’t find so repellant.  like here eh? 

      • Anonymous says:

        And Poverty and Social Neglect is a direct product of gambling………how do we intend to manage this? While it can be managed, will it be overcome by pure greed!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        "The Caribbean gambling states you allude to arrived at their social situation long before the casinos came along; their governments were broke to begin with, and they neglected their people, and they turned to drugs"

        Sounds like Cayman, and you are therefore saying that gambling casinos will exacerbate the situation which already exists. Of course it is not only the Caribbean that this happens. The U.S. has plenty of good examples, e.g. Las Vegas  gambling industry fosters prostitution.   

      • Anonymous says:

        And who said that you did not see rampant crime in Macau? Every article I could find on the issue clearly identifies organized crime as a serious problem associated with Macau’s gambling industry. See e.g.



    • Tracy from Swamp says:

      Cayman is fully gamling operational now, I have not heard anyone robbing numbershops, they  are robbing gas stations and pizza places.  I do not belive they are selling numbers there.

  8. vocal local says:

    Finally, an admission (of sorts) that the Authorities are NOT currently "clamping down" on those engaged in the ongoing illegal gambling!

    And this had been happening for decades. With many in high Govt. office and even in law enforcement, surely aware of who the "players" are.

    How does this look to our youth? Does such hipocrisy cause our immpressionable youth to not trust or respect authority? Hint; YES!

    Still, i would agree to bring it to a vote…let the people have their say!

  9. islandman says:

    I say; bring it to a vote! Because gambling is happening in every corner of this island, and has been for decades, and often by many in high Govt. and law enforcement positions. The country may as well get paid for it.

    I do agree that Mac is again XXXXX though. Something seems fishy with his being so secretive about his position. Guess that happens when one has to deliver (sell out to the money) while preaching about his and Cayman’s "christian heritage" and keep in good favour with the church.




  10. Anonymous says:

    I do not have any particular objection to gambling and I am not sure how much money gambling would actually put in the government coffers. There is no doubt however that thesurest bet in Cayman is that certain politicians and their cronies will become far richer than they already are if gambling is approved, irrespective of how money the country gets.

    • Anonymous says:

      Atlantis adds > USD$1BLN to Bahamas GDP and is major employer and tourist attraction.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is true, but also bear in mine that locals are not allowed to gamble in the casinos.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ahh. Theoretically they are not allowed to gamble but in fact they do gamble.

  11. Anonymous says:

    MY guess: It’s already a done deal! 

  12. Anonymous says:

    A national lottery could be a good source of revenue (much of which has been pouring out daily anyway in the numbers game) but it would have to be well regulated/managed and beyond the access of politics, with defined accountability to the public, i.e. x million per year is seen going to education, roads, whatever. At least as transparent and beneficial as US state lotteries.

    Casino gambling could also be allowed and likewise run, with an identifiable contribution to the society, social centrer, addiction clinics, whatever. As far as casinos, they could be restricted to visitors or w.p. holders only – they’ve done that in Curacao since the 70’s – thereby removing the feared scourge that permanent residents will blow their earnings on gambling and that kids will starve or crime will soar,etc., etc.

    Fact is, those who want to gamble find ways now and have done for years. If they are given a legal alternative, they might gamble more but not necessarily. Those who couldn’t give two hoots about a card game or numbers, will not necessarily all of a sudden become gamblers. Gambling is a personality, it is not a fad or fashion to any large extent!  

    So while I go to church on Sundays and say my prayers with all good meaning and faith, I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. Perhaps this sounds hypocritical to some but I could see a well-controlled national lottery system doing some good in this country. The money is being played now, may as well make it stay here and do some good work.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Brothels would bring in much higher revenue

    • Anonymous says:

      Alas, those would be non-reportable cash transactions!

    • Tracy from Swamp says:

      High Class Brothels have been here from the days of Interbank.  Long long time ago

    • Night Flyer says:

      Reply to 20.30

      Lol, already here. Long time.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Good point, although the other posters seemed to have missed it. The point is that we know that we have illegal prostitution as well as illegal gambling. If the rationale for legalizing gambling is for govt. revenue through licences etc. then by parity of reasoning we should also legalise prostitution and tax the brothels/prostitutes.      

  14. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone else think that our, ahem, great and illustrious leader has promised something to Mr Ryan? Maybe that’s why he put his name to tat open letter in the Caymanian Compass, because Big Mac was taking too long!?! 

    I don’t see what the big deal is. Churches of all denominations witter on about how gambling is immoral. When the churches follow a decent moral compass and drop some of the hypocrisy, then I might be willing to listen to their opinion. Also, there is a lot of chat about Caymanians becoming addicted to gambling. I think once the casinos open they won’t have a chance to actually do any gambling because they will be too busy avoiding their pastors at the card tables!

    Bring on the Blackjack!

  15. Caymanians for Good says:

    The Churches will be surprised on this one and it will finally break the belief that Government must follow the churches positions. Cayman has changed and changed forever. People will actually vote yes and tell their Pastors the opposite. I can guess outcome now of 58 / 42 percent in favour. So gaming will pass even if only registered voters vote. If all others vote, gaming will pass 78/22 percent. I therefore recommend we get ready and follow the following guides:

    1. Government should only regulate this industry not be involved in any operations.
    2. Private group(s) should be licensed to create and operate the lotteries and Casinos.
    3. Government should get a tax on gross sales of lotteries. Maximum cap on administration and operating costs to be part of operator’s license.
    4. Private board should review applications for the extra lottery funds which should go to “Good Causes” including faith based programmes.
    5. Lotteries should be online with worldwide access. The numbers would be huge and revenue to Cayman would be in the hundred of millions annually. Must also have a local lottery game that is won here every week to compete with Numbers game. No credit cards and personal checks can be used. See “elGordo” from Spain as example of the perfect lottery for Cayman. Can you say “Tax free winnings”?
    5. Casinos should be only in large hotels(500 + rooms plus conference centre) complexes. Operators to bid for licenses. Taxed and regulated by government. Annual fees, T&B also added based on Gross revenue.
    6. Casinos to be off-limits to locals. Only for non-resident play. This will remove all of the talk about Casinos costing government on welfare and compulsive gamblers. Our own compulsive gamblers will continue with the Numbers game and the private in-home gambling. Government does not currently spend anything on them.
    7. Only 2 casinos should be permitted for the first 10 years. We reassess then.

    Hopefully by next summer we can have the lottery operating and a year later the first Casino.

    • Tracy from Swamp says:

      Caymanians for good, please put these comments in the Local news paper and send copies to the Government Premier and all MLA,s  and to the churches and  make posters too.   This is the best advice on Gambling I have   read so far. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think that we have the money to waste on a referndum vote to be carried out. Mac is anxious to have gambling introduced but those who signed the petition was not in sufficient numbers to trigger a referndum vote, so how can the house send this dumb idea to a refendum?. 

    Mckeeva is jus plain old and lost and needs to retire at the Ritz Condo.

    He is the only one that wants gambling.

  17. Anonymous says:

    It is amazing that in all countries of the world it is the citizens of that country that votes and yet here in Cayman that rule should be changed.


    I really dont see them stopping gambling. It is the laternative means of getting money for the government and it will increase tourism to the country.

    Now the bad. As many have said it does increase crime andour polive department cant handle what is going on now. Maybe we should send for more English policemen at rediculous rates to come and help again.

    • Anonymous says:


      "It is amazing that in all countries of the world it is the citizens of that country that votes and yet here in Cayman that rule should be changed."
      What’s even more amazing is that you can be a citizen of this country, by definition and have a Cayman Islands passport issued by the passport office, yet cannot own a business, cannot vote and I cannot serve on a jury. I can’t think of another country that fits this catgory. Someone should take this to ECHR.
      Also check out UK law, anyone from the commonwealth who has right to abode in the UK, has, after one year, the right to vote.
      • Anonymous says:

        Because we are an Overseas Territory of Britain with a large measure of internal self-government, and not an independent country, the passport test does not really apply. Accordingly you will not find this in any "country" since there is no such bifurcation but you will find it in every other British Overseas Territory. In any event, if you are naturalized then obtaining Caymanian status is available to you and you can then vote, serve on juries etc.

        Re the UK, actually the law there is that if you are a commonwealth citizen and you are ordinarily resident in the UK you then have a right to vote. That was the UK’s decision and is not mandated by the ECHR. There is no need for Cayman to follow it and there are obvious reasons not to.        

        Re owning a business, many non-Caymanians own businesses. If the business is regulated they obtain the relevant regulatory licence, and if it is not they obtain a Local Companies (Control) Law Licence (following their sham ads for Caymanian participants). .

  18. Anonymous says:

    No gambling period. We have enough problems to deal with already. No to Gilbert and No to Mac Bush and No to Miss Julie.

    I do not understand why Miss Julie remains silent on this issue since she claims to be a christian.

    I believe Mac Bush should come clean and state that he is against gambling or stop claiming to be a christian.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, for once I have some admiration for thePremier’s stance. I think that he is correct in not showing his bias but to allow the citizens of this country to vote yea or nay. I also applaud former MLA Gilbert McLean for seeking to legally deal with this issue, even knowing the tremendous criticism and attacks he would attract. The ostrich mentality of pretending that illegal gambling is not already happening in these Islands is foolish and hypocritical, especially when the churches who so strongly oppose it engage in gambling (raffles!) themselves. Gilbert is right, since it is already happening the government should seek to obtain much needed funds from it.   

      • Anonymous says:

        There is nothing to be admiredabout the Premier’s stance. I strongly suspect that he is in support of gambling and has very likely promised casino licences but does not wish to state that plainly lest he alienate his support from the churches (although at least one pastor is already compromised). A referendum is therefore a scapegoat for what he intends. This is made plain by the fact that he wishes all RESIDENTS to vote on the referendum notwithstanding that Constitutional referendums are for registered voters only. This is clearly for no other purpose than to rig the result. Unfortunately, this is very shortsighted and sets a bad precedent for other issues.      

    • Dred says:

      There are a lot of people who say they are christian but do unchristian like things, who knows maybe even you.

      Cayman needs to break this hold over it.

      I want to see Sunday trading next limited to Grocery and Retail stores. I see nothing wrong with that. I will stop at all bars because this I will allow to remain closed.

      • Mat says:

        Sundays off helps the Grocery and Retail stores; a day of rest rejuvenates the employees. You can’t expect people to work like machines every day of the week. I think people working in stores should have at least one day off and work at reasonable hours like no more than 8 hours a day. If a business can’t treat their employees right, they should not have a business license!

        Employers:  Is money or reaching a goal more important than your own people???  Who helped lauched your business in the first place???

         I say – You just can’t have the golden eggs without taking care of the goose that lays them. You will end up killing the goose and losing the profit.

        A basic business principle:  PEOPLE FIRST!

        • Dred says:

          WOW. How inept of you.

          First stores want it. The Fosters tried to get it over turned and if you asked them they will tell you they want to.

          As for staff. You ever heard of shifts and days off?? Restaurants and Hotels operate 24/7 365 and staff are not dying.

          This is just a silly stupid argument for no Sunday Trading.

        • anonymous says:

          Most people work no more than an eight hour shift. 

          The other thing is in reference to Sundays off, what about the persons who are Seventh Day Adventist.  They don’t shop or do very little else on Saturday as that is their sabbath. 


        • Tracy from Swamp says:

          That is why people are put on shifts.

  19. Lachlan MacTavish says:

     I agree the people of Cayman should decide but gambling. But this approach from The Premier is flawed as usual and as most of his approaches to todays pressing issues are. Knee jerk reaction shotgun approach.

    A proper outside, objection, non political, gambling commission should be appointed to evaluate the pros and the cons for Cayman’s unique society. How much income can be produced for the country, how do you keep gambling for registered foreign hotel/condo guests, how do you keep the politico’s out of the back rooms and how do you set up a proper commission/authority that is non political non influenced by politico’s and for the people. Do this first, educate the public then ask what the voters want. Give them the information to make a non emotional, vote getting decision for a change. 

    Income from Casino licenses could be dedicated to health, social services and education needs allowing other CIG income to go to roads infrastructure etc etc……

    Mr. Bush do it the right way…..stop pandering to voters and religious leaders with bravado.


    • Anonymous says:

      I’m so glad that is a secret ballot :So i can vote YES and still go to church and tell the Pastor i voted NO………Democracy working for us>>>

      • Alovicious Bonner says:

        This is the best laugh I had for the year.  I am cracking up.

      • Beachboi says:

        So true!  So true!  The pastors and ministers will probably vote for it to pass as well and continue to condemn the idea in the pulpit.

        Lets get serious though.  Of the 15,000 voters the majority will unfortunately be the idiots that voted Bush Whacker into power and therefore this too will be defeated.

        Hopefully between now and November the government will decide to have the majority of this refferndum apply to a national lottery with the organisation of casinos to come later.  I am anxious to start playing our own lottery.  FYI I am a  law abiding citizen yet I am struggling to make ends meet so I do play the numbers on Sunday with the hope that I can pay a few bills on time.  Last Sunday I had not gotten 50 feet from the church door when I heard the all too familiar sound of "So wha play" come out of someone’s mouth!   I also send a few dollars a month to a friend in Miami to play the lotto there.  I cant win unless I play so I am at least trying.  If I do win I will be bringing the money home and therefore Cayman will benefit.



    • BORN FREE says:

      "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

      When asked on a radio show by a listener if he would vote for or against ‘gambling in Cayman’ I heard the premier say that that was a personal thing & that his vote would be secret. If he is a christian, as he claims, I would think that he should have no problem shouting it from the roof tops loud & clear that he will be voting against it. As has been pointed out before, he shouted it loud & clear that he was voting against the new constitution last year, & even encouraged people to also vote no to the new constitution, so why does he now have a problem telling the people if he will vote for or against gambling. This is once again very suspicious, & leaves us all to believe one thing only. I personally believe that too much power has gone to this mans head & it’s affecting his thinking.
      I heard him announce on the TV that he, yes HE, was going to allow foreigners to vote in "OUR" referendum to decide the gambling issue. I was shocked. Actually, I was not shocked because it was the premier saying it. Then a few days later he changed it saying that he was going to allow everyone residing in Cayman to vote! I really believe too much power is affecting his mind. Does he not know that the constitution does not allow this? "A drowning man will cling to a straw."
      Why doesn’t he just come out & tell us that he plans to vote for gambling; or against it if that is the case? Why? 

      "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." 

      • Sandman D says:

        Why should Mr Bush do this when we have church members buying lottery every day.

      • LachlanMacTavish says:

         With all due respect Christianity or faith has nothing to do with what is best for the financial well being of the country. We may pray for guidance and direction but when it comes down to the bottom line guidance from where ever will not produce more income for the country. Time to separate religion from Government. Did not to much influence from religion in the far past bring down nations ?????

        • Dred says:

          Lach I thought you were a smart man.

          This has nothing about what is good for Cayman. It has everything to do with the CMA. They control what we have and what we don’t have. Here’s a case in point where stupidity reins in.

          Grocery Stores opening on Sunday….CMA says no and adamantly.

          Yet. Bars at Hotels can open. I can go get a beer from the bar but I can’t go get a loaf of bread.

          Restaurants can open who can serve a beer or wine with dinner but I can’t go get a pack of eggs.

          So I can drink at will but can’t shop for food for my house.

          Now where is the sense in all of that you tell me?

          The CMA for all the days I can remember on this Island has controlled the politicians with an iron fist. They may threaten them for all I know with votes. I really do think there is nothing the CMA would not say to get their way.

          So this has little to do with what is right for Cayman and a hell of a lot more about what the CMA believes is right for this country. Until we can get the hypocrit pastors out of our political arena and back in church leading their congregation we are doomed to forever live in 1950s.


          • Lachlan MacTavish says:


            I agree 100% with you and have always thought this way. The CMA should stick to attending to their congregations and stay out of politics and the running of the country. 

            • Dred says:

              WOW. We actually find agreement on an issue….Where are the fireworks??

              I am 30 plus years old and I can say I have never seen the sense in this. I have always felt on this matter that our clergy who fight for this are the biggest hypocrits to walk the earth. Churchs that have these people tending to their sheep should take a serious look at the message they are sending.

              Your Message if you don’t know it yet….

              Thou shall keep the seventh day holy…..

              So….No selling food, milk, sodas….BUT you can buy beers, mixed drinks all you want….

              WOW. I’m sold.

              What a message to send to the masses…

              So Clergy….you can now turn your heads away again because Sunday is coming and the liquor will pour again.

            • Anonymous says:

              What is "politics"? If by that you mean matters which affect the governing of the body politic, ie,. society, then the pastors have not only a right but a duty to speak out for Christian values. Why should they be denied freedom of speech?    

          • Beachboi says:

            I agree that the ministers association should have no part what so ever in any part of our government operation and the formulatoin of policy.  The church is a buisness just like any other and they will use their influence where they can to serve themselves.  When I read about their involvement in the constitutional process I was truly amazed.  What an oxymoron!!  They use the bible to determine what human rights should be and that is just wrong.  They believe that homosexuals should have no human rights yet they turn a blind eye to the fact that Adam and Eve’s children populated the world through incest.  If they want to lead their brainwashed followers then so be it but keep them from making life more miserable for the rest of us than it already is. 

            I dont understand what the church has against a lottery or other form of gambling?  They themselves run "raffles", and what is the difference.  A national lottery would indeed benefit Cayman if the funds are truly directed to the projects that need additional funding.  Personally I think that the dept. of education should be the sole benefactor. 

            Last year we had an opportunity to extend the length of time that the cruise ships stay in port by allowing the onboard casinos to remain open and thereby extend the amount of timethat the visitors have to shop and spend yet because of the church and its view on gambling we could not even do that.  The ships would be in port longer and only passengers would be allowed to gamble.  What a bunch of idiots!!  Maybe if their hold on the premiers balls could be loosened he might actually be able to do something positive.  Ummm, nah he would still be an idiot.

            The church has enjoyed a lenghty reign but now that the Pope himself is embroiled in scandal over allowing a pedophile to continue molesting children that reign is going to change.  The vatican is worth nearly a trillion $ and the pope wears gold while people starve to death.  Now what would God think of that.  That is true hipocracy!!

            • Anonymous says:

              I agree with you in all you say.  No matter what the hippocrites preach, as a Caymanian, I say it is time that the churches stay out of our politics.  I am sure that if either one of those ministers had a way to buy numbers without the fear of being caught, they would.  I happen to know that one of the most vocal "ministers" in our society, was a serious drug addict before he started spouting off at the mouth about religion.  Tell them to deal with ensuring that their consciences are clear and make their own peace with their god.  Caymanians are some of the smartest people in the world and should be left alone to decide how best they want to live their lives.  Leave us alone and let us decide for ourselves.  I would like to see both legalised gambling and Sunday trading here.  There are a couple of thousand residents who buy "numbers" every week, make it legal and government could charge for a license to sell numbers – a way for the government to increase the revenue base.  I hope the Premier leads with his political senses and not by listening to the Bible-thumping fanatics who wants to keep everything for themselves and I know that if you are in need of foods, they will buy for you one time and then just presume you can find a job before the food is finished.

        • Anonymous says:

          Gibbons notwithstanding, I do not believe that any nation has been brought down by too much Christian influence although many have been brought down by too much greed and immorality.  

      • Anonymous says:

        why would he vote against it? THINK! He has an interest in the Ritz…Hehas a BIG interest in gambling coming here.  

  20. Anonymous says:

    "The premier has also stated that once the people have the chance to vote on the subject, if they vote ‘no’ the police will start clamping down on the illegal numbers game".  To use his words  This is foolishness.  The government should be enforcing the laws now.  The illegal numbers game will be no less illegal if the people vote yes or no.  It sounds like he is admitting that government has no will to enforce the gambling laws now.


    Yes or No by definition illegal.  And will remain so after the pool.

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      The Premier,  Indian Chief,  or Police cannot stop the illegal lottery.   It is what the people want.  The police cannot controll it any more. .  If you had more insight of what is taking place you would understand better.  It is out of control around every corner.  Taking your chance at spending  $2.00 on a number is better tan buying cigaretts or beers.  At least the money is Staying right here to feed me and you when the old age come and you need the food voucher from social service department.   Look at it as money on loan to Government.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Why will the Premier then start to clamp down on illegal activities in our country. Foolishness Mr . Bush.


  21. big whopper says:

    No fair….what about the strip clubs?….that can bring in revenue to our "broke" govt too….right?..why stop with a lotto’s or casino’s…and don’t give me that crap about gambling is already here……so is prostitution….I am pretty sure some tourists would pay to see me shake it (ok, better not go there)..we are slowly losing it..

    • And Thank you!

      We are in debt, certain people can’t take losing so they must commit crimes and withdraw from their responsibilities, we have crime problem now on the horizon, and we no transparency here…

      Do we really need to bring in gambling??? Will this really balanced the budget??? Come on folks – you don’t need to be a christian or religious to see:

      Some people are indeed LOSING IT!

    • Anonymous says:

      The gov’t gets something for the prostitution that goes on here.  There is a tax on theflights that get the girls here for the "special" party and of course the hotel tax too.

  22. W. Hill says:

    Who is running the line on the outcome of the vote? I got a few notes spare I wouldn’t mind putting down.

  23. Anonymous says:

    We need lots of facts about this issue.  WHY should we legalize gambling, is the first question that needs to be answered by this government.  If it’s a financial consideration, we need concrete numbers that project how this could help our ecomony.  How many people will get new jobs.  Documentation from other areas who have legalized gambling on how it helped (or didn’t help) their ecomony.  What about a rise in crime.  There must be tons of statistics and information out there that needs to be researched and openly discussed.  This shouldn’t just be an emotional yes or no vote, we need to be informed.  My belief is that we will see a rise in crime, but I don’t have the facts to back that up.  If someone has that information, we all need to see it.  This shouldn’t be another means to line the pockets of our politicians.

    • Anonymous says:

      The reason to legalize it is easy — the revenue generated for the government through the issuance of gaming license. I would imagine that it’ll be a significant number, probably enough that the size of the Civil Service won’t matter!

      In regards to crime — can it really get much worse? Especially if it is allowed only for tourists.

      But you know what — I cannot vote for it, so I’ll leave to those that can to solve all the issues facing apparently only Grand Cayman, as I don’t see the same news for the Sister Islands.

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      Why should we legalize gambling?  My honest comment is this: I do  not know why certain people on this Island is being in denial of this, when they fully well know that gambling is being carried out Illegal on this Island three times a day seven days a week, and every night and on Sundays.

        Even people who is blind as a bat, cant read and write, deaf and dumb, and cant walk is buying this illegal lottery every day.  If you are not aware of this you are not livingon this Island.

      Of course there will be opposers,  and we must understand that is their right, just as well it is their right to vote or not to vote during election.

      I attend church, I believe in God,  I believe that the ten commandments are our laws from God. But what I cannot understand is why the church and some other person who is neither here or there choose to close one eye on certain laws and instructions of the bible and wink with  the other.   Believe me, that is why we have benchwarmers in church every sunday morning and Saturday morning.

      Ask me if I feel Cayman should have a lottery system  in place, my answer would be yes.  I am not going to hide behind what I have to say.  I am honest and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  Yours may be different, but I have to  respect you, because that is your opinion.

      My reason for saying yes is because I know what is taking place  on the Island,   I am very much aware how many llegal lotteries  are up and running, collecting in the range of 10 to 30 thousand dollars a day.

      These Illegal gaming houses are 95% controlled by expatriates.  The Bankers and winners moneys  is not kept on the Island.  It is sent abroad, and every day people win.

      Ask me if I would buy Lottery if the Government sets up a Cayman Lottery system?   My answer will by "Yes"  Why, because the money I spend on a Cayman Lottery will benefit ME, and will benefit you, even if I do not win, it wll stay right here. It can be used to assit the Elderly, the schools  the roads, health service and the list goes on.   It will be going into the Cayman Island Treasury,not the Treasury of some other Carribean or Central American country.  Dont some of you elderly folks and young folks feel anyway guilty when you receive $500.00 every month knowing that it is comming direct from Government pocket book, and you did not not contribute to it.   I say let the money stay here.   Buying Cayman Lottery is like investing a dollar each day for old age.



      • Alovicious Bonner says:

        I have been following your comments, Ms. Twyla and they seem reasonable.  I also know what you are saying is true so we will have to just  hope other people will understand what you are talking about.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have to disagree with you. Just because gambling is already going on now illegally does not give a strong reason for legalizing it, rather we should be looking at ways to stop the illegal gambling 

        Secondly we are a very small society and need to seriously consider all of the negative impacts of legalized gambling.

        • Twyla Vargas says:

          There is nothing wrong with you disagreeing with my comments, and I respect you for that bcause everyone must have their own opinions which necessarily dont have to be correct.  My picture is not looking at the word Gambling, which may seem outlawed to some of us.  I prefer to take a softer approach and say a game of chance, which is sometihing we take every day.  Like drinking high blood pressure tablets because or doctor say and prescribe that it will lower the pressure.   We are dobtful at first, but guess what?  They work.   Thats gambling.

          Some churches will say dont take blood.  The doctor will say, If you cant take it now you will die.  Some take the chance nd take the blood and live, others do not take it and they die. Its called gambling.

          Some churches will tell you write all your troubles on this paper and put in the drum of fire and all your problems will be gone.   Its gambling.

          The airlines will sell you a ticket to travel to Miami.  You are expecting the piece of paper and the plane will take you there,  Its gambling.  

          You marry the sweetest man on earth for it to last a liftime with a big promise till death do us part.   Six months later he wants a divorce, Its was called Gambling.  You ate Baracuda fish knowing that it will poison you, but because the fisherman say it is sweet.  It poison ya.  Thats gambling.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I can tell that McKeeva is in favour of gambling – he just doesn’t have the guts to come out and say it – he is hoping the voters will decide and then he can say that is an example of democracy in action.  But…… you just wait and see if McKeeva lets the people vote on the "one man-one vote issue.  He is definitely NOT in favour of one man-one vote so you won’t see democrary in action on that issue!  He wants to keep the voting the same since the way it is now gives him an advantage.  McKeeva will pick and choose the issues that we have any say-so in. 

  25. Anonymous says:

    Govt. better think before how to take care of these petty thieves… robbing every day. Do they even have a slight idea what the crime rate is going to be once they have the casinos… they first should come with a plan to secure prople’s lives and then take a vote..

    • Anonymous says:

      You can rest assured,that if any of the criminals here with robberies on their agenda.Ever try to rob a casino, it will certainly be their last robbery attempt for a very long time, or forever.

      As I am a gambler, I am willing to take bets on this one.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Now you listen here Mac, only registered electors have a constitutional right to cast a vote.

    No offence, but people who are not going to be living here for the rest of their lives (i.e. expatriates) have no right to cast a vote that will determine the future for a country in which they (a very large percentage) will not be living in come 2 years down the road.

    • BORN FREE says:

      Only an expatriate (XXXXXX) could give a thumbs down to the comment by Anon 11:39. How can anyone in their right mind think that it is right for foreigners to vote in our referendum? I can bet my life that I could not visit England, Honduras, the Phillipines, Jamaica, Cuba, USA, China, Bahamas, Bermuda, or anywhere else in the world & vote in their referendum, no way, no how. How the hell can anyone think this is ok? I would get shot if I tried to vote in another man’s country, so please foreigners, resident or visitor, please do not ever expect to vote in Cayman’s referendum, IT IS WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. This should not even be an issue, this should not even be in question, only registered voters in Cayman should be allowed to vote in OUR referendum (& that is what the constitution says also, that’s our law).

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said. Only Caymanians should be allowed to vote, since at the end of the day it is their country.

  27. To Gilbert Mclean and all his followers:

    I have this to say and I am not a Christian, so please don’t pull me into a religious pool. But I can see clearly the reasons why we shouldn’t have gambling here in the Cayman Islands:

    1. Gambling can become psychologically addictive to certain individuals, and this type of slavery is reinforced when the gambler persist to gamble after repeated losses

    2. Yes!  Gambling is LINK to crime!  There is no doubt about that – studies have proven this in other countries. I don’t hear Gilbert mentioning anything about this LINK.

    3.  Gilbert and his followers does not talk much about the cost that gambling will bring to these Islands. Whilst it will make us money, will it cost us more than we make???

    With such issues as the rise in crime, morality, and a debt problem, I and many others can affirm that it would not be wise for this small island of ours and for the stability of this country to introduce or legalize gambling in any form.


    • Anonymous says:

      I have to agree with you  100%.

      Gambling in any form has nothing positive to offer our small society, and people should start thinking about this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said!

      I think overtime gambling will prove itself more costly. People saying that we already have gambling just make it into law now. Well… we have drugs too, prostitution too… I guess we will legalize these as well and get ourselves more into debt

      • Anonymous says:


        Just because something is happening, doesn’t mean we have to legalize it.

        In the long run gambling will have more negative impact on our society than good, and cost us al whole lot more.

  28. slowpoke says:

    I sure hope we get a little more information as to what we are voting “yes’ or “no” on.

  29. Eggbound says:

    I cannot see how Michael Ryan could possibly be independent in making any recommendation on gambling as he has a deep and inherent conflict of already geared up to cater for gamblers. Naturally he will see more units sold through Cambridge realty and here we go again.

    As an aside I wonder what the views are of the church whose congregation attend services at the Ritz-Carton every week.

  30. Hmmm I wonder why says:

    I wonder why this is so high on the agenda now – did someone get promised a Casino license?


    • Anonymous says:

      It’s cause the government is truly broke and won’t be able to borrow money unless they come up with an alternate revenue stream.

      So CS won’t take a pay cut, Government spending as a whole is apparently unabated, no one seems to like the idea a tax, so something has to be done.

      Gambling can generate revenue much more quickly then the hypothetical hospital or a new berthing facility.

  31. Anonymous says:

    why go to the expense and bother of having a referendum.???.. just another example of the spineless politicians who are afraid to make any tough decisions….

  32. Anonymous says:

    So 15,000 out of a population of 60,000 will vote? democracy in action.

    There is a huge potential revenue stream in gambling which is desperately needed. Unfortunately the Cayman Ministers’ Association (our very own Taliban) will be all over this and push people against it.


    • Anonymous says:

      That is because the other 45,000 are not Caymanians. We’re out numbered.

    • Ali Louya says:

      You seem to assume Cayman is a democracy when it is not.  It is closer to an oligarchy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Democracy is not in question. First, until the census is completed we don’t actually know the size of the population and following the large decline in the number of work permits in issue since November, 2008 it could well be under 50,000. Second, obviously minors are not taken into account for this purpose. Third, probably half of our population is transient and there should not even be the suggestion that they should be entitled to vote. Voters are typically citizens.  

      We cannot afford to let greed continue to be the guiding force for our decisions. There are also many social ills associated with gambling to consider.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do you seem to think that the only reasons people would be against gambling is  for religious reasons.

      There are many reasons for why gambling is not a good idea for our society (other than religion). Just think of the crime, and other social problems which are associated with gambling. Cayman is way too small for these.

  33. what a mess says:

     GOOD. Let the people vote. WE should decide, WE, the people of the Cayman Islands…