I really dislike the idea of a casino in Fiji. The only casino I've been inside was Crown in Melbourne and it's a horrible place. I went there only to write a story.
Anyway Akuila gets it right this time - as reported by Scoop New Zealand. There's a comment added after the article from 'Bubu' but that's not me and I won't republish it here.
CCF expresses ‘deep reservations’ on plan for Fiji casino
16:42 September 18, 2009Fiji, Pacific Press Releases1 comment
Pacific Press Release – Citizens’ Constitutional Forum, 18 September 2009
CCF expresses reservations on opening of a casino
The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) expresses deep reservations about the decision by the Interim Government to allow a casino to open in Fiji. “It is known world over that casinos can have collateral damages. Big time gambling can be a source of addiction leading to financial bankruptcy and irreplaceable loss of much needed family income, which could aggravate rather than resolve poverty,” CCF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rev Akuila Yabaki said.
“The opening of any casino would require strict legislation and it would be unfair discrimination to prevent locals from accessing the casino altogether or to place higher regulations on their participation than foreigners,” Rev Yabaki said. Suitable regulations would need to be in place to ensure that appropriate consideration is given to:
• The impact on social welfare and culture;
• Mismanagement of finances (possible increase in debt and poverty);
• Gambling addictions (and associate problems such as alcohol/drug abuse and depression);
• The location and/or number of casinos should be determined only after a comprehensive impact assessment report is done.
“It should be able to benefit the people of Fiji, including the local economy, and not just visiting tourists and overseas investors and measures need to be in place to address any adverse impact this development might have,“ Rev Yabaki said. “Only one casino should be sufficient for a country like Fiji.”
Some of the reasons why I dislike gambling are set out here in a statement by Tim Costello, currently head of World Vision Australia, a Baptist minister.
from Sydney Morning Herald, late 2007
State and territory governments rake in more than $4 billion a year in pokies taxes. The only exception is Western Australia, which apart from videopoker games in Perth's Burswood Casino, is pokies free. Our governments have a vile addiction to pokies revenue that is tearing apart families and communities.
Last year the gaming industry took more than $10 billion out of Australian wallets. And it is those who are least able to afford it who are most affected. The Productivity Commission's landmark 1999 report revealed that 42.3 per cent of pokies losses came from problem gamblers. That compared with 5.7 per cent for lotteries. More recent studies have put this at closer to 50 per cent of losses coming off the backs of the vulnerable and addicted.
The numbers are not insignificant. There are at least 220,000 Australians struggling with a gambling problem because of the pokies. They make up 80 per cent of all problem gamblers and for each problem gambler the lives of seven others, be they family or friends, are affected.
Close to 2 million Australians are in some way worse off because of the pokies bug. That doesn't include previous "generations" of addicts who can no longer be classified as problem gamblers because they have already lost everything and can no longer gamble.
drawings added later - Tuesday. I'd illustrated a story in a small anthology and found it again, and the other drawing was made as I waited for a Christmas luncheon for women to be set up - at the Leopold Sports Club. I discovered that I'd posted it and written about 'Wowsers' in this blog 23rd January earlier this year.