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August 08, 2012


Niki Bright

Well, that's a nice history lesson but void of any real conclusions, opinions or recommendations.

Also, as the Bahamas Blog on BahamasB2B.com pointed out, the real problem is what to do with the current numbers bosses. The men are criminals. To just allow them to walk away, rich, or to hand them the lottery to manage, sets the same bad example as drugs did in the 1980's... the "crime pays" mentality that has so corrupted and perverted our society.

larry smith

To arrive at conclusions, we first need comprehensive information and context. This is the gap that the local media rarely fills. I don't talk off the top of my head - I produce news features. My preliminary view can be found in the final paragraph. However, your point about the Numbers chiefs is well taken.

Juan Taylor

"which approach - prohibition or regulation - will provide the most benefits to the most Bahamians at the least cost". Are Numbers and the Lottery the same thing? As for Vegas gamblng, there are no benefits to Bahamians, because "the House always Wins". With the Lottery, people don't go way overboard with that because it's not commercialized. They don't put special odours on the carpet to make people gamble more, etc.

larry smith

It all depends on how the government implements. Casinos are an important attraction for visitors and they are also pay taxes - so they do provide benefits for Bahamians. Will the government simply regularise the existing numbers industry? Will they contract the numbers chiefs to operate a national lottery? Will the Numbers chiefs face any penalties for their criminal behaviour up to this point? We don't know anything. My guess is they hope it will fail so they don't have to be bothered any more and so they don't have to offend their Baptist backers.

Jane Beales

If a lottery is run centrally it can provide the population with much needed extra funds for good national causes that the government can't manage. Nearly all the British athletes have been funded through the national lottery and that seems to have worked. How you deal with an existing gaming industry is going to be the big problem though. The Bahamian Club was in Thunderball wasn't it?

Clancy Wiggum

Excellent article Larry!

What I don’t understand is how Bahamians have allowed the numbers men to operate with impunity for so long. Multi-millionaires, often beloved and held in high regard, IMO all due to illicit gains. The religious aspect of this argument baffles me, as so many good Christians hold accounts at web shops and almost any five year old can tell you how to box a number. Let’s face it – the perpetual debate filled with moral error has resulted in no significant improvement for the average Bahamian. Legalize numbers – introduce regulations and tax the numbers men.

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