Cops:Gambling not a priority

| 04/08/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Headline News, Cayman gambling(CNS): Following reports that an international gambling firm was able to purchase illegal lottery tickets with little difficulty during its research in Cayman, the police have revealed that illegal gaming is not at the top of the RCIPS list. As the debate about legalising gambling continues, those who are against it suggest that the failure of police to enforce the gambling laws is an example of the ‘official lawlessness’ that is widespread in the islands. Others see the open flouting of the law as one of the many reasons why it is time for it to be legalised to facilitate a national lottery or casinos. Police did state that when reports are made about illegal gaming they follow through but admitted it was not a priority. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

A police spokesperson said that there were 45 recorded offences this year involving gambling, lottery tickets and illegal gaming, and 57 people were arrested for circumstances surrounding illegal gambling. “Having said that the RCIPS clearly deals with the offences that are reported to them, it is not a Force priority,” the spokesperson stated.
Although asked about the circumstances surrounding the consultant firm, G-Tech and the ease with which it was able to purchase tickets, meet and discuss the illegal gaming industry with its players, the RCIPS made no comment.
While there is support in the community for the decision by the RCIPS to prioritise other crime, others are concerned that the illegal numbers game fuels those other crimes. Billy Adam, a local activist and strong opponent of legalisation, said the police should be enforcing the gaming laws, not just because it’s illegal and the police have an obligation to enforce it, but because it is linked to other crimes.
“This is yet another example of the lawlessness in Cayman of the authorities,” Adam said. “Who gets to decide which laws we enforce and which we chose to ignore when it suits us? We should not be surprisedthat all crime is rising when the authorities are not enforcing laws that don’t suit them.”
Adam said that there was a direct link between gambling and crime and the police had a duty to enforce the gambling law.
His point was shared by the former commissioner, David George, who said in September 2008 that the police service would be enforcing the law with regard to the illegal numbers game and other forms of gambling.
“The fact is, the ‘numbers’ game is illegal and can often be linked to other forms of crime,” George said at the time. “In addition, any place that carries large sums of cash, and is known to carry it, increases their risk of becoming a victim of serious crime. This is a holistic approach to crime prevention; through tackling the selling of numbers, we hope to prevent crime from taking place and demonstrate a proportionate response to crime.”
George’s comments were made in the wake of charges brought against Assistant Commissioner Rudy Dixon (who remains on suspension since March 2008) related to a gambling arrest.
Dixon was accused of misconduct because he had allegedly instructed Chief Inspector Reginald Branch in Cayman Brac to release two men who had been brought in for illegal gambling and to give them back the cash and gambling registers which had been seized.
The charges were brought by the UK special police investigation team (SPIT) Senior Investigating Officer, Martin Bridger, during Operation Tempura. However, the charges were dropped as Dixon demonstrated that during 2003, the last time the question of legalising gambling was up for debate, it was the RCIPS policy, as instructed by the then commissioner David Thursfield, not to bring prosecutions over gambling at the time.  
The premier said earlier this year that he wishes to put the gambling question before the people of the Cayman Islands to decide one and for all whether or not it should be legal. He has suggested there will be a referendum in November but it is not yet clear if this will be for just a lottery, exclusive casinos for visitors only, or for all types of gaming. McKeeva Bush has also said publicly that if the country decides ‘no’ in a referendum he would want to see the law properly enforced and the illegal gaming stopped.
G-Tech, the international gaming firm which was able to purchase illegal gaming tickets during its research into the potential lottery market in Cayman, is reportedly one of three gaming firms that have submitted proposals to the government to create a legal national lottery and related games.
The government is expected to receive between $1.2 and 1.4 million in receipts based on the illegal market, which is worth around $11milllion.
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  1. Chris says:

    Did you know that there is a section of the gambling law that allows a tipster to claim 50% of the funds seized if their information results in a successful prosecution?

    I think if more people were aware of this clause there would be more information coming forward about gambling and there would be more public pressure on the police to prosecute these cases.

    More laws should contain a similar clause as it will help with community policing.




  2. 100% Caymanian says:

    Just Do It!!!


    Hey believe it or not guys, we might as well make the gambling thing legal.

    How ain’t buying it don’t want to.

    You would be surprise…

    When you do win trust me those dollars do come in handy.

    • Dred says:

      I don’t play and I easily could but I am for Gambling being legalised and for a few reasons:

      1) The present law is not enforced so whatever "ills" comes with gambling we have them now.

      2) Our government is having financial problems and Casinos and Lotteries could assist us back to getting into the black again. Taking #1 into account I see no so call rise in "ills" from gambling since people do it at will today.

      3) Morality should not come into it. If morality was the case why did the CMA allow us bars to drink at? Why do they allow us sex on TV? Fact is the church should express their view of the matter and shut the hell up. In Genisis it says God created the heavens and the earth and during this time he created the Garden of Eden AND the Tree of Life with the forbidden fruit. He asked us to not partake of it knowing full well we would do it anyway. He is an all knowing God and knew what would happen yet he still left us to decide. Does the CMA know the message that is being relayed here? The message is simple and extremely clear. God puts in front of us decisions and ask that we do what is right, he allows us to make these decisions of our own free will why? Because he wants us to come to him of our own free will not because we have no choice but because it is the right thing to do. Somehow someway this got lost in translation and the Churches of the Cayman Islands (not all but they know who they are) think their way is better than what the Lord has set down. I suggest you preachers go review your bible and look inward at what message you are trying to send when you place undue pressure on your congregation in an effort to disallow freedom of choice. There is nothing wrong with saying "The X Church stands by the opinion that Gambling is wrong in the sight of God and as such will cause……". I have no problem with that but past that you are going against your own bible. I think you should take a step back and check your personal agendas at the door before entering your church doors.

      I am for Gambling but I can say that there is an excellent chance I will never partake of it. But that’s just me. I know the playing field and I know the odds are against gamblers and I WOULD PROBABLY CHOOSE NOT TO DO IT AS IT SHOULD BE. But I feel personally offended when a sect that is not the law but a party to the law as I am tries  to decide for me.

      If you look at the churches they already get away with things they should never be allowed to. Things such as Sunday Trading where we place Sunday Church goers and believers ahead of other churches who might believe Saturday is the Sabbath. Why has the law decided that one church is right and the other wrong? Again why not make people decide not to work on Saturday or Sunday why are we closing Sunday because Sunday church goers want it closed especially when bars are open. Why can people not buy bread but they can buy beer? Does that make any sense to anyone??? Then they hold raffles and claim "Ooh it’s for a good cause so in OUR case it’s not gambling at all". HELL YES IT IS GAMBLING!! Do you want to be able to have multiple wives also like the some churches in the USA do?

  3. nauticalone says:

    Not only the Police, but other high ranking Govt. personnel are well known consistent gamblers thenselves. And this is no secret.

    Think about it: the Premier now wants a referendum on gambling/casinos (wants to make it legal but be able to say "it’s what the people wanted"). Yet he does not want to hear from the people about a cargo dock in East End?. he says "it’s going to happen, regardless".

    High level Govt. people and theirs have been gambling for decades! This is as clear an example of the rampant hipocrisy in Cayman as ever…yet nothing willcome of it…nothing!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Keeping lotteries illegal in Cayman is similar to Prohibition in the USA (in the earlier part of the past century). The Government simply can’t WIN! The police man power will have to be increased 5 folds to stomp this out (we all know we can’t afford to pay so many Police Officers, and we can’t trust that they won’t participate themselves).

    The numbers game is beyond the imagination of the law makers on the Island. It is simple STUPIDITY to keep it illegal, every nationality participates in this activity. It may from the outset appear that it is being limited to certain demographics, but I can tell you this is simply incorrect, as the nationalities can be categorize as “direct”, and “indirect purchasers”. In a lot of cases there is a person who can be defined as a “number runner”, and will go to the common locations where the numbers are sold, or have a bookie come to them that they may buy for coworkers, and themselves.

    Have a look in your work place to see if this is not happening.

    The Caribbean all over is a culture of gambling, and the Law Makers, and the Church represents a culture of denial.
    Luckily for the Bahamas they saw the LIGHT.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I do not believe that numbers game is linked to major crime. There are no reports of armed robberies or surrounding it.

    Gambling is viewed as risk and entertainment by the buyers.

    Most of the other Caribbean territories have it. There websites are online.

    Many people gladlywager a $1 for entertainment with a chance of winning.

  6. Anonymous says:

    this is amazing; the cops set up road checks and issue traffic tickets and you say they should be putting all their attention on bringing down serious crime, while in the same breath you say they should focus on persons gambling. well you,ve got to make up your minds; where are the priorities? would you rather the cops running around on a sunday morning catching persons with lottery tickets or would you prefer them working tirelessly at nights to try and keep you safe? i would also advice you all to look at the legislation and the consequences of gambling and its no wonder they pay very little interest to this area.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What exactly do the police see as a priority? Becasue I know it’s not assault or harrassment or even some accidents. When sice do they get the authority to says what’s of high priority? Last I checked they worked for the Cayman Islands and that means that they are here to uphold the law as wellas to protect and serve. It’s seems sometimes that the only time that you can get a response from them is if you call them and say that you’ve found x amount pounds of drugs. I understand that they are swamped right now with robberies and murders but it would not be so bad if they were actually getting those persons off the street. And as Mr. Adam said, any ‘big’ crime can stem from a smaller one. Weren’t there reports that a man was shot allegedlly this year over gambling? Enough said. If they can drive by and watch people flashing lottery books around right in the open public, even though gambling is against the law, why should someone that use marijuana do so in private? Same as someone that is robbing a store. If they see that they could get away with it in the night or in front of the CVT cameras, they have started to do so in the day. If one man could be shot in front of hundreds of people and have no wittnesses- what is happening to our country?

  8. Ken P says:

    Sorry but I have to say illegal gambling is often linked to drugs, prostitution (Cayman has it), extortion and corruption. You don’t need to be a law expert to figure that once you put these four together you’re looking at the four horsemen for crime. Cayman is now faced with numbers game and from many sources its the reason for our rise in crime. I hope that Government will consider looking at the National Lottery as to help fund education, law enforcement and povetry.

    I ask that the RCIPS do a major crackdown on illegal gambling as we all know on a Sunday morning for many it’s not church time but winning time:).

    Take care and blessings.

  9. Sandra says:

    It can’t be a priority when you have Police Officers in high ranking positions playing Numbers as well. I know of three officers who played Numbers. One time, I heard one say on the phone, "what number play?" And I am not making this up

    • Anonymous says:

      It follows that misconduct in public office, official corruption, and money laundering are not prioroties for the RCIP either!

  10. Anonymous says:

    In my opinion the RCIP misspoke in that Gambling enforcement is not a proirity, rather it is completely ignored and furthermore I would bet that there are members of the RCIP that play numbers.

    One can only wonder who benefits by RCIP turning a blind eye to gambling in Cayman.

    • Honest Dave says:

      My book of the day is "Who benefits by the RCIP turning a blind eye to gambling"

      The 3-1ON FAV is the people of Cayman because of the benefits of more effective allocation of police resources.

    • Twyla Mae Vargas says:

      I really do not think the police is turning a blind eye. It just so happens that many  police officers are aware of what is going on, and if they have to start arresting people over the wekend at these number places on Sunday mornings or Saturday nights, the church will be half full next day.   Light, Water, Telephone  and Government  would have a difficult Monday morning.   Everybody would be in jail. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    Major understatement

  12. My2cents says:

    When faced with shootings, robberies and murder, I can see why the police do not consider this a priority.

    It is also true that Cayman has many petty irrelevant laws and regulations – to the point where the public ignore them and the police don’t bother enforcing them. It is kind of like a collective ignorance of certain irrelevent laws. Gambling is just one example.

    My question is, is the police at fault, or the law itself?


    • Anon says:

      I think the former Commissioner explained that the illegal numbers game is linked to some of these crimes. They are not completely separate issues. The laws are not irrelevant as far as the numbers game is concerned, they just need to be enforced.  Perhaps it is this that our legislation should be amended to focus upon.  

      • Twyla Mae Vargas says:

        Which ever former Comssioner said that illegal numbers is linked to some of these crimes dont know what he is talking about, and only saying this to be a "wannabe" please whomever. 

        If you do not live near these number shops you are only guessing what is happening..

        Try driving out in each district on Sunday mornings,and you will not have enough money in your pocket to spend there are so many.  It is themost carefully well  organized event taking place.   What ever category we may place it under,  I can tell you one thing,  it is a loosing battle for the police, because it is like  "Nut Grass"  pull up one here and 10 sprout back.

    • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

      The answer to your question.  Both the police and the public are at fault, because the public is permitting the police to breach certain laws.  For example, the Commissioner of Police is currently breaching Section 43 of the Police Law (2008 Revision) and other laws in relation to that section.

      • Durrrr says:

        Change the record. No-one cares about your little quest to turn Cayman into the wild west. This topic is about gambling, not guns

        • Anonymous says:

          It is not about the Wild West which was in the begining lawless, it is about following laws and personal selfdefense, Drrrr!


        • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

          Educate yourself; my comment is about the continued lawlessness of the Commissioner of Police!  If you can’t understand that, get someone to explain it to you, but please don’t encourage him in his continued lawlessness.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why do you call this a "fault"?

        Did it ever occur to your that perhaps it is a good healthy dose of reality that the public and their police service do not seem to see gambling as a great evil that needs priority attention.

        Perhaps  the anti-gambling people are at "fault" by not lobbying for changing the obsolete law against numbers and other forms of gambling?

        • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

          What happens when the next issue the police do not to see as a great evil that needs priority attention is rape?

          I used the word ‘fault,” because it is currently ILLEGAL to gamble in the Cayman Islands.  Therefore, instead of ignoring the laws, the proper thing to do would be to amend the laws, instead of ignoring a law.

          The ignoring of laws is criminal behavior!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I don’t blame the police for not making gambling a priority. It is an odd situation when raffles, for example, are specifically illegal under the gambling law. Yet how many charities, schools organisations etc openly hold raffles on this island? Often for vet signifacnt prizes. If the police were to fully enforce the law then everybody who organised the raffle, sold tickets even bought tickets would be eligible for prosecution.

    The laws need to be revamped. At least lotteries and raffles should be legalised.

  14. 911 HELP says:

    They CAN’T and WILL NOT because half the police force play it and thats a FACT. I remember about 18 years ago a police was in a little store buying a soda in his uniform and when he pulled out his money his number paper with the number he bought for sunday fell right there in front of us and the cashier said that is the same number i like for tommorow and he smiled and said yes i hope i hit luck sunday from that day he came nearly every saturday night to discuss what he thought would play and what he was buying for sunday.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Of course it is not a priority. Too many of the police themselves are also buying numbers

  16. Caymanians for logic says:

    Break out the tables and dice!!!

    I agree RCIP, deal with the gun folks and robbers. That is what we want you to do.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, I want them to enforce all the relevant  laws of the Cayman Islands without fear or favour, as they are sworn to do.