Give casinos, lotteries consideration

Here we go again. Now the government is talking about taxing the people of Cayman because of the government’s inability to handle money responsibly.

A country just doesn’t wake up one day and decide that it is broke; it happens over a period of time. It makes me wonder what the last government was possibly thinking by spending money at the rate that they did, when they had to have known that we were spiralling into a major financial hole. Were they trying to put the next government into such an impossible situation that it would fail, or were they just trying to buy votes? Who knows; only in the mind of a politician do those answers rest.

I have talked to many people since the article about tax came out in the paper and is not sitting well with anyone. Naturally a government needs money to run a country but why punish the people that live here. If the government would focus on trying to keep more money here on Island, that might be an enormous help.

Consider all the people that work here and send money off the Island to families where they come from. Perhaps higher fees on those transactions would keep more money here and if anyone doubts how much that could be, just hang around the money transfer stores.

Consider national lotteries. Many countries have used the income lotteries can produce to finance roads, education, health, etc. The amount of money that gets taken off Island every year by people just to buy lottery tickets is amazing. Every time I talk to someone who goes on vacation they talk about buying a lottery ticket for one of the lotteries. Think about the amount of money spent every year here on people playing numbers and the government gets nothing from it. Also consider those that win, they would have more money to spend, which in return would help the economy. If people are going to play lotteries whether it is allowed here or not, then it just makes sense to let them play it here and keep the money here.

Now here’s one that should get certain people’s hairs standing on end. How about casinos? Easy now, forget your own personal feelings on this matter and think of the country as a whole. It never ceases to amaze me at what casinos do for economies where they are located. I guess Vegas is and always will be the perfect example. What was done with a piece of dessert because of casinos is nothing short of amazing whether you like it or not. I am not suggesting that we turn Cayman into a Vegas strip but allowing casinos will bring in a tremendous amount of revenue for the government. Again, people fly out of Cayman every day to go where they can play in a casino. If we had casinos here then most of that money would stay here.

I have listened to all the talk of why we shouldn’t have lotteries and casinos and none of it stands up. Casinos will bring in an undesirable group of people. Well guess what they are already here. Casinos will create gambling addictions. What doesn’t? Cigarettes, liquor, food and yes even religion can become addictive so what do we do, stop all of them from being on the Island? I know that there are those of you saying right now that being addicted to religion is a good addiction, just remember that Satanism is also a religion.

I remember when casinos first came into the area where I lived and all the concerns that came with it, like anything new there were problems at the start, but like anything else it worked itself out. The government here has the opportunity to talk to different places that have brought in casinos to help with their financial situations and learn from their mistakes. To just say no to lotteries and casinos just because you as a person don’t think that they are a good thing is very selfish and self centred. It is like the old saying; you are cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Taxes are not what we want here unless there are absolutely no other options. We do have other options at this point and to dismiss them because of personal beliefs is wrong. Once a government puts a tax system in place it will never go away and will only continue to increase. I think we are all under enough financial strain trying to survive day to day, with all the hidden taxes already in place here. It astounds me when I listen to people that don’t want lotteries or casinos, but you can bet that if taxes are placed on people here those people will be the first and loudest to complain about it.

David J. Bailey