Editorial for 4 April: Playing by 
the numbers

Today we’re repeating a mantra:

Since gambling is illegal here, then the laws of the land need to be enforced and the penalties for breaking the law proportional to breaking other laws.

Anyone who thinks that gambling – in the Cayman Islands it’s called playing numbers – isn’t going on in this country is living in the dark.

Every day men and women buy numbers to play in various lotteries.

While it’s illegal to play the numbers and otherwise gamble in the Cayman Islands, the penalty for doing so is ridiculous – $10. Where is the deterrent? Frankly, it’s a waste of the time of the judiciary.

The Caymanian Compass has devoted today’s CompassPoint Elections to the issues of lotteries.

No matter which side of the fence you find yourself on – even if you’re straddling it – when it comes to the matter of gambling, the people of Cayman should make the decision on whether casinos or lotteries are legal here.

And the candidates who are seeking your vote should tell you what they sincerely think about the issue and how they would vote if it became an issue in the Legislative Assembly.

Technically, those of us who buy raffle tickets from various service clubs, churches, charities and the like are breaking the law in the Cayman Islands.

Raffles for cars, boats and money, casino nights, trivia contests, sporting events with cash prizes and scratch-off prize cards are all part of everyday life in Cayman, yet they remain illegal and ignored by police.

If we don’t want gambling here, then shore up the laws. If the majority decides we do, then figure out what would work best for our country. Our point isn’t whether gambling should really be against the law; only that it is against the existing law and that law is being ignored.

Today’s articles about lottery won’t be the only foray into gambling we will take as we examine election issues in the CompassPoint section each Tuesday and Thursday. There is an undercurrent of rumblings that legalised gambling is coming to Cayman. If so, we need make sure it’s the right fit for our country. If not, fix the law.

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