Bahamas gov’t orders the immediate closure of web shop gaming

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013 | 10:15 AM

NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) – Less than 24 hours after Bahamians voted overwhelmingly to reject web-based  gambling and a national lottery, the government has called on all operates of such games to close down their businesses with “immediate effect”.

“Failure to do so will leave all such web shop owners, operators and web shop gaming patrons exposed to arrest and criminal prosecution without further notice or warning,” Prime Minister Perry Christie said in a brief statement.

The results from Monday’s referendum showed that Bahamians by a margin of almost two to one, voted “No” to the questions on “Do you support the regulation and taxation of web shop gaming and Do you support the establishment of a National Lottery?

The referendum had been conducted in a campaign similar to a general election with the ruling Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) urging supporters to give the thumbs up to the initiatives that Prime Minister Christie said would finalise a new source of government revenue and will facilitate new areas for local employment.

The main opposition Free National Movement (FNM) had urged voters to reject the measure.

In his statement, Prime Minister Christie said that in keeping with his administration’s commitment to abide by the will of the electorate “it has now become necessary to effect the closure of all web-shop gaming operations in The Bahamas.

“Accordingly, all offending web-shop owners and operators are placed on notice that all their gaming operations, including all online gaming and the numbers games, must cease with immediate effect.”

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