Near Cuba and not far from the Florida Keys in the U.S. lies the Bahamas, a sun-kissed tropical country that relies on tourist trade to support its more than 350,000 residents.
While those tourists often can be found enjoying the beaches at over 700 islands that make up the commonwealth, many also wander into any one of a handful of casinos that add to the vacation experience. The casinos enjoy considerable action during tourist seasons, but there are several months where the slots and table games resemble that of a ghost town.
The Bahamas is susceptible to experiencing hurricanes during the summer and autumn, which keeps visitors away. This puts a serious dent in the country's economy and has brought up discussions of perhaps permitting online gambling in order to offset casino losses during the slow tourism months.
“During the hurricane season, when nobody wants to travel to the Bahamas, we still have thousands of employees to support, we still have hundreds of local vendors and contractors to pay," said Uri Clinton, a Baha Mar Casino & Hotel representative. Clinton is pushing for online gambling legislation that would allow the country "to continue to generate tax revenue, even as people are not here using the resources,” the Bahamas Weekly reported.
The issue of regulating online gaming in the Bahamas and other jurisdictions will be discussed in the country during a conference next month entitled “Shrinking The Global Divide: Synergy, Service and Sustainability.” Set for September 18th-20th at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort, Clinton will be one of the speakers who will provide information on the legalization of online gambling from a global perspective.
The unpredictable weather patterns that sometimes wreak havoc on the Bahamas may keep people away at certain times, but online gambling is seen as a way to provide stability to its revenue stream. It's another example of the benefits that online poker and gambling could bring to any number of jurisdictions looking to add revenue.