MY BOYFRIEND has always enjoyed betting on the horses and so on, but I am concerned that his gambling has now become an obsession.
Christine, a large amount of money has gone missing from our joint account, but whenever I tackle him about it he just changes the subject.
A friend of mine told me she saw him in the betting shop with a furious look on his face, and I am beside myself with worry that he has lost a lot of our precious savings.
How many of us can relate to the above story? How many of us have relatives that have an addiction problem to gambling whether it is betting on horses or lottery numbers or one arm bandits?. The above article is dated May 29th 2006. Since then a proliferation of numerous gambling chances have emerge and individuals and groups have express alarm at the the rapid increases in gambling addiction that is sweeping across this island.
With the cost of living skyrocketing out of control these days, the BCA [Barbados Cricket Association still plans to profit off the backs of misguided individuals who are still under the pretext that when one pays out huge amounts of money, your pot of gold will comes sailing in sooner than later. In most cases never. By then you are BROKE. Or to use the political correct term "financially embarrass.''
Under the previous government, The BLP give permission to the BCA [Barbados Cricket Association] for the importation of gaming machines. These gaming machines numbering 2500 [original story] and approved by the Ministry of Finance back then was reveal in the a Nation article after the fact. This was to avoid any backlash from competitors and community groups.
Barbados which prides itself as not being a casino gambling country nevertheless have seen a profiteering of gambling chances introduced through in this country to the detriment of families and homes.
In other words, Barbados is a gambling country whether we like it or not. The powers of the day determined that since Barbadians are oppose to casino gambling, all sorts of gambling methods will be introduced in this fair island – short of casino gambling – to profit off Bajans under the pretext of helping out sports organisations which up to this day are still crying out for much needed funds to broaden their scope of activities whilst persons elsewhere are fattening their bank accounts.
Another example of dependency syndrome.
The 2500 gaming terminals mentioned above are to be maintained by a company, CAGE Caribbean, based in Puerto Rico [and now have operations here in Bim as well] and maintains an office in Las Vegas!!!. The gambling capital of America. Casino gambling is cutthroat business in that state so one can surely expect that type of business here. Which brings us back to the people who stands to lose the most – Bajans.
“The BCA’s existing lottery game remained quite popular across Barbados, and no downturn in betting had been seen despite the high cost of living, and recent price hikes.”
This admission came from Orson Simpson, Chairman of the BCA’s Lottery Committee. In today’s Nation [link here] Mr Simpson express the fact that five months have passed without getting the necessary permission to operate gaming machines in Barbados since the ” importation of 100 new innovation Video Lottery Terminal machines.” Every day that passes are anxious moments for Mr Simpson and the BCA. With Bajans gambling their paycheques away and no downsize in spending admidst food hikes, the organisation would be eager to cash in as quickly as possible before the tide turn.
Gambling whether offline or online is driven by and subsists on greed. For this reason, the activity is morally bankrupt from its very foundation. Gambling is also an activity which exploits the vulnerable — the young, the old, and those susceptible too and have addictive behaviors. Furthermore, gambling undermines the work ethic. It is based on the premise of something for nothing, a concept that sanctions idleness rather than industriousness, slothfulness instead of initiative.
“A new deminsion of gambling in Barbados”
A Video Lottery Terminal or VLT is a gaming machine that allows gamblers to bet on the outcome of a video game.
A VLT is similar to a slot machine, except that it is connected to a centralized computer system that determines the outcome of each wager using a random number generator. Although the outcome of each wager is random, VLT operators are able to program in advance the total amount and number of payouts that its central computer system will allow at its connected VLTs. In this manner, VLTs can be thought of as computerized scratch-off lottery tickets.
The BCA imported VLT’s are to add “a new dimension of gambling in Barbados.” You can bet the games approved on these terminals will mimic casino style gambling. Hence a new wave of compulsive gamblers.
During the elections campaign in January this year, casino gambling was also highlighted by Mia Mottley. She question the DLP stance on casino gambling. She queried David Thompson association “with the owners of a casino club in Trinidad who had also set up an arcade in Barbados”. His reply?
“This Government came to office and doubled the number of ‘slot machines’ that are put in arcades in this country and no questions were asked.
“And this arrangement with the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) and other lottery arrangement, we are going to see 400 new lottery machines put into various small operations to facilitate electronic gambling. So Arthur is not in any position to even raise the issue of gambling, least of all, Mottley,” he said.
He then referred to newspaper articles dated December 13, 1993, which reported Arthur in his first official visit to Brooklyn, New York, as Opposition Leader for the BLP, telling an audience that Barbadians would have to be more “mature” about casinos.
Arthur, at the time, said: “I am not going to mince my words on it – Barbados has to keep its options open. It has to be competitive in terms of the range of services in an increasingly competitive tourist market.”
Who else to blame but Bajans themselves when they takes their hard earned cash to so easily spend on a game of chance, hoping against hope that they will win the big one.
Maybe the cash in COB’s accounts remaining for 5 years are a blessing in disguise after all.