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Bahamas Gaming Chief Suggests Casino Referendum

16 June 2003

BAHAMAS – As reported by the Jamaica Observer: “The head of the agency that regulates gambling in The Bahamas has suggested that Jamaica holds a referendum to resolve the controversial issue of whether the island should introduce casino gambling.

“Jamaica has, for decades, maintained an on-and-off debate on the subject and while the island has legalised other forms of gambling, governments, under the pressure of the religious communities, have drawn the line at casinos.

“…But Kenyatta Gibson, the chairman of the Gaming Board of The Bahamas, said at a banquet of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association in Montego Bay on Saturday night that this might be a matter for the people to decide.

“…In fact, Gibson indicated that The Bahamas does well from its three existing casinos. They earn the country in excess of US$23 million a year in taxes and levies.

“…But Gibson stressed the need to properly explain to people that gaming was an industry in itself and not just `an accoutrement to the tourism product’.

“…Bahamians are not allowed to gamble in the island's casinos…”

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