Nearly two-thirds of the 958 respondents to the most recent caycompass.com online poll said they would support a national lottery. Candidates have raised the issue in various public forums.
‘We need a way to raise money,’ said one of the 618 people (64.5 per cent) who supported a national lottery. ‘But we must keep it honest and spend it on real projects like health care and schools. And all three islands should get benefits; not just Grand Cayman.’
‘Bring the lottery here, please,’ said someone else. ‘I spend US$10,000 a year on different lotteries. I would like to spend the money in this country.’
‘Better to have a national lottery than to have payroll taxes and increasing revenue measures by the government,’ said another person.
‘It might put all of these illegal lotteries out of business and prevent a large amount of people from getting ripped off by non-paying number sellers,’ said another respondent. ‘And it will be tax-free. Sell it online and you will be amazed how many will buy it.’
‘If people don’t agree with lotteries, they don’t have to buy a ticket,’ said someone else.
Another 139 people (14.5 per cent) said they would possibly support a national lottery.
‘I have no moral qualms about a lottery,’ said one person. ‘It’s my own luck I don’t have faith in.’
‘Most countries have some form of regulated lottery,’ said someone else. ‘Provided the use of obtained funds can be managed without corruption, this can be a valuable source of income for the country.’
Forty respondents (4.2 per cent) said they would probably not support a national lottery, but 151 people (15.8 per cent) said they would definitely not support it.
‘A national lottery is in reality a tax on the poorest of the ignorant poor,’ said one person. ‘Smart people know that only the house really wins in the long run. Some win big to suck the masses into the game, which still make crooks the money.’
‘If we do this, we might as well have a brothel and a full-fledged casino as well,’ said another respondent. ‘Cayman is God’s country; there’s no place for these sins here.’
‘People say the money could be used for education,’ said someone else. ‘The lottery in Florida was supposed to be for schools and all the legislature there has done is cut the school’s budget. Plus, Cayman is too small to have big prizes – all the proceeds would have to be used to pay staff monitoring the lottery.’
‘Unfortunately, our government has proven time and time again that they are most incompetent at successfully running anything.’
Only 10 people (less than 1 per cent) responded ‘don’t know’ to the question.