Tips for Jamaica's Gambling PlansPublished May 7, 2009
The Jamaica Observer comments on the government's plans to introduce casino gambling in the country.
Casino gambling is not the silver bullet or magical solution that will solve the world's problems. But the Jamaican government views it as a solution to an economic problem that the country has encountered.
Indeed, the government is said to be contemplating plugging the deep hole in the budget with the introduction of casino gaming.
In an Editorial on its website on April 24, 2009, The Jamaica Observer does not endorse the plan but discusses it level heatedly. It goes on to say: "However, we are convinced of its potential to substantially increase earnings to our economy which is going to need every help it can get to ride out this recession."
Its concern it seems is a legitimate one: having to set up the right social infrastructure before doing so.
Potential side effects are listed - corruption, crime, fraternal delinquency, homicide. The solution too is mentioned - an extensive public education campaign, funded, in part, by casino tax income.
Monopolies are suspect, and so the JO suggests licensing several operators in the various tourist resorts. Morals too are nice, but a discussion should focus on practical problems and ways to solve them.