JO - No need to ban locals from casinos, the price will
No need to ban locals from casinos, the price will
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Why does everyone assume that something that works elsewhere will automatically work in Jamaica?
I speak specifically of "The Bahamas approach to casino gambling". What they have done in The Bahamas is to bar locals from entering the casino as guests. Tourists can gamble all they want, but a native Bahamian can only go there as a worker.
I do not know enough about the demographics and history of The Bahamas to explain why this works, but it's a safe bet that there is a substantial difference between there and here.
Simply put, if this was attempted in Jamaica, Jamaicans would treat it as racism, that is, it wouldn't be interpreted as "foreigners can go but Jamaicans can't", it would be seen as "white people can go but black people can only work for them there". Our culture has little or no tolerance for such an arrangement.
The reality is that the flow of Jamaicans through a large casino will be limited by the price (first rate casinos are not cheap), and that is acceptable. However, to put up any kind of barrier against internal tourists (meaning people who live in Kingston going to Trelawny on vacation) would just lead to social backlash against the property.
There would be demonstrations, lawsuits and possibly vandalism - perhaps on a scale to destroy the viability of this casino venture.
Fortunately for us the prime minister seems to understand this and as such has made no mention of any kind of exclusivity.