Categories: Youth

The Pros and Cons of Gambling

To me, gambling is a really weird cause to rally for or against. On both sides of the fence, I believe that the arguments made are overlooking important issues to consider. For example, in last year’s gaming referendum, the Christian council vehemently rallied against gambling alluding to the social ills that could result. However, does gambling result in households being abandoned, and men roaming the streets in search of a dollar? Or is that a result of greed, selfishness, or the human desire to crave more and never be satisfied? Should we have been in Rawson Square praying that the govern­ment not pass the Gambling Bill, or should we have been in the streets mourning the brokenness of the hearts in our country? Gambling in and of itself is not inherently evil, but unfortunately, we (us human beings) are.

On the flip side, those who rallied for the passing of the bill referenced all the economic benefits and the new jobs that it will create. Though it may contribute to the economy and add a few jobs here and there, the benefits are being gravely overestimated. Every time someone talks about its contribution to the economy they throw out a new funky number– some odd thousands of jobs, some few millions of dollars. Nobody really knows since this has been an illegal industry for so many years. Furthermore, most state that this will only contribute to maybe 1% of our GDP; and, in a country wal­lowing in debt, we need something much bigger than a few number houses to save us from sinking.

All in all, I don’t think the pros outweigh the cons in this matter, so I would much rather we do without a legal gaming industry. But I guess the government has spoken. _Athena Bain

My perspective on gambling is based on my exposure and present knowledge of the topic. Gambling has been present in the Bahamas for many years, unbothered. My personal opinion is that there is an extreme double standard toward the issue. Growing up, you see family, friends, and fam­ily of friends partake in “playing numbers” with little or no consequences. However, it is illegal for Bahamians to gamble in BAHAMIAN casinos. Whatever the moral dilemma, the government should choose an absolute side and stick with it. Either there be absolutely no gambling in the Bahamas (ca­sinos AND number houses) or they set legislation so that everything is on one accord.

Although I personally see nothing wrong with CONTROLLED gambling, the Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:10 – “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Any idol that can deviate our focus from God isn’t good, and the ‘love of money’ is an idol and the root cause as to why some people are easily bought.

All this being said, there are still pros to this matter. The country is in a position where additional revenue would not hurt (but when does additional revenue ever hurt? Other than when it is illegally obtained). If something can be done with gambling to generate revenue that doesn’t sway the Nation’s eyes from God, then I see that as a positive and a boost to our economy. However, as soon as that focus is shifted from God, The Bahamas will not be in the path of God’s will as gambling will then become a source of revenue for some people as oppose to dependence on God, and an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. Thus, the moral dilemma remains unresolved and we continue to be where we are as of today. _Nathan Evans