The issue of gambling in the Cayman Islands has been debated with fervour for many years but ultimately, the church-oriented stance has prevailed and gaming has never been formally accepted in the territory.
With Christianity being the main religion in the society, it has been nearly a foregone conclusion that there would be no gambling in the Cayman Islands.
Pastor Alson Ebanks of the Church of God on Walker’s Road explained why gambling is frowned upon by the church.
“Our position is the general evangelical position and we do not support or encourage gambling in casinos or otherwise.”
He added that, “The problem with gambling is that it promotes an approach to life that is less than healthy. And gambling is in fact advocating an approach to life where people do not view stewardship of personal resources as the means to get ahead. You don’t spend $1 to make $1 million. Life is not about giving the least amount to get the most. That is the wrong approach. Minimum input for maximum output creates the wrong kind of ethos.”
Mr. Ebanks said the Cayman Islands has already fallen prey to this type of thinking to an extent in many regards and gambling would only compound this by introducing gambling.
“It is about right values influencing our approach and not faulty reasoning. When our lives bottom line is money, we are in trouble. Gambling is getting something for free and we all know that little value is placed on something that is for free,” Mr. Ebanks said.
Another pastor to weigh in on the issue was Rev. Forester of the Presbyterian United Church noted that, “Gambling is a game of chance and as such should not be practiced.
There are many different forms of gambling but one of the ideals of Christians is that we should be helping the less fortunate and not enticing them to spend what they have with the lure of increasing it exponentially. We do not feel it is good for the society and have also taken the stance to not accept any funds from institutions with any gaming affiliations.”
Most candidates in the 2013 General Election have taken the stance that the issue of gambling in the Cayman Islands should go to a public referendum. Several nonscientific Caymanian Compass online polls have shown large public support for the introduction of gambling.