Church call to end gambling in The Bahamas

Nassau’s bishop has urged his government to end gambling in The Bahamas, saying the perceived economic benefits were outweighed by the moral harm incurred.

Nassau’s bishop has urged his government to end gambling in The Bahamas, saying the perceived economic benefits were outweighed by the moral harm incurred. In his charge to the 114th session of the Diocese of The Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Islands held last week, the Rt. Rev. Laish Boyd said gambling “gouges out a chunk of flesh from the torso of this nation and creates syndrome of ill effects that will call for a lot of repair and healing.” Originally scheduled for October, the diocesan synod had been postponed to 9 Nov 2015 due to Hurricane Joaquin which swept through the southern Bahamas last month. “The gaming business does not add any value to the economy,” Bishop Boyd said. “It does not grow the economy. It takes money out which goes as exorbitant profit to the various gaming houses. It employs a relatively small number of persons in proportion to its huge turnover; it pays taxes and makes use of certain goods and services, among them rental of property. However, it is a tiny sector of the economy in that regard. What it does do is extract money from the economy of islands, communities and cities – funds which those locations could ill afford to lose,” he said. “All over our archipelago there are web shops, even in very small Family Island communities, and the number is growing. Persons patronise these establishments by choice, but their choice drains small Family Island communities. It would shock the world to know the tens of thousands – and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars – that leave small communities every month in web shop takings,” the bishop said. He urged the government to “lead a fuller inquiry into the social and moral side effects” of gambling.

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