Sunday, Jun 7, 2020
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The Bahamas must take advantage of upcoming changes

Dear Editor,

Over the last few months, after listening to all the changes that are about to take place in our country, I came up with my own ideas about how we can profit from some of them. So here we go.

Let’s take the gaming scenario first. Take the admitted $400 million made a year over the last five years by this industry, and the government will have over $2 million, originally owned by the people in the first place, and could build a first class race track and casino where Bahamians and our visitors could legally gamble, side by side.

The government could come up with the Crown Land and the operation could hire a minimum of 8,000 people and be managed by a professional organization. The government can work out what percentage it will own.

You can let your imagination run wild with the number of off-shoot operations that this venture will generate. Our tourists are looking for ways to enjoy themselves. This will be an attraction that will guarantee their enjoyment, as many other attractions can be held on this property for children and the elderly as well.

My second idea is the benefit that can be derived from our two most feared, have to happen, will happen projects – namely, VAT and duty free, which come with WTO membership. My thoughts are: millions of shoppers from South America visit Florida, mainly for shopping, and spend over $7 billion a year. We should work on luring at least half of them to The Bahamas to purchase duty free products made in the United States and other parts of the world.

The government can arrange for daily flights from South America for one-day excursions or overnight stays. Imagine all the money that will be made by small hotels around the airport, the number of taxis and buses that will get work. South Americans will visit our casinos and race track, our restaurants, and thousands of Bahamians will be working in their own businesses of choice.

Then, and only then, will The Bahamas enjoy the potential that always existed, but was not being allowed to flourish over the last 40 years because of a system that was put in place that says only a chosen few will prosper and the masses will remain slaves to their supposed deliverer. The masses refuse to believe that freed slaves will enslave them. It worked very well up to yesterday.

Dangy reminded me the other day that, if life began at the foot of the bridge on Bay Street and ended George Street, that he and I are in front of the market opposite Market Street. So this is for the young people: stop living in your parents’ shadow; the prophet said, come through them, not from them. You are the children of tomorrow. Your parents’ time has come and gone. Do not repeat their mistakes, live for tomorrow. Act today – there may not be a tomorrow if you don’t.

Live long and prosper.

– Bob Nevil


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