Opinion: Money talks (establishing a gaming control board on St. Maarten)

POSTED: 09/9/11 2:14 PM

While St. Maarten is dragging its feet with the establishment of the Gaming control board, the Netherlands seems to be ready to take the bull by the horns, end the Holland Casino monopoly over the Dutch gaming market, and establish a gambling police in the form of a Game of Chance authority.
The Dutch second chamber supports this initiative by State secretary of Security and Justice, Fred Teeven. The supervisor will get the authority to control whether suppliers of games of chance play by the rules. Violators will be fined. The authority will also act against illegal gambling.
The parliament also wants stricter rules to combat gambling addiction. Providers will have to display obligatory warnings against addiction and they also have to publish the odds to win. “That will be an eye-opener because usually that chance is very small,” GreenLeft MP Ineke van Gent said.

These are useful elements for the Gaming Control Board in St. Maarten – if we ever get one. Word on the street is that the government will never establish such a supervisor. Ask for the reason why people think this is so, and the answer is: That’s obvious, isn’t it?
Yep, it’s that obvious. The discussion about setting up a Gaming Control Board has been ongoing for years. The result of all those discussions? Zero, zilch, zip, nada.
Maybe it’s getting old, but we like to remind our readers for this special occasion of our most successful behavioral analysis tool. It does not have a name, but it consists of a simple formula: intention + action = result.
“The government intends to implement a financial control mechanism for all casinos.” This statement was signed, sealed and delivered in December 1996 – almost fifteen years ago.
Well, one might ask, if this was the intention of the government in 1996, where is the result in, ehh, 2011?
Answer: there is no result.
Why not?
Well, obviously the government was lying in December 1996 when it wrote in its own casino policy that it intends to set up a control mechanism.
Lying? Does the government do that?
Well, we’d like to point out that based on results, yes, the government has been lying about this for close to fifteen years. We’re not sure whether this was already an issue before 1996, otherwise we’d claim that the lying has been going on, like, forever.
It is so simple: if the government intends to establish a control mechanism it has to do something to make this happen. It has to take action. We all know that the government – or successive governments – did no such thing.
How do we know that? Again, simple. Had they taken action we would have seen a result. And because there is, like in a bad cricket match, no result, we feel comfortable to conclude that the government never had the intention to establish this control mechanism. Ergo: the government has indeed been lying.
Obviously, this only establishes the tangible result – or rather the tangible lack of result. It does not answer the question why the government is dragging its feet.
Money talks, right? Do we need to say more?
Ah, and then there are two more things: addiction and the odds to win. We feel that the industry and the government both have in task in developing programs to combat gambling addiction. If Suzette Moses ever got enough of running the HIV/Aids program, she would probably be able to come up with something sensible for gamblers – the step from safe sex to safe gambling seems doable to us.
The best way to make people think twice about gambling is to make clear what the odds to win something are. That is not done in St. Maarten at the moment. People buy lottery tickets like there is no tomorrow and they never stop to think that they could get more satisfaction out of buying twenty-seven subscriptions to the Today Newspaper.
Made simple again: lottery schemes ought to publish the number of tickets in a particular batch and the exact number of prizes participants may expect to win. And when a main prize is out, the lottery companies out to make clear to their clients that that prize is gone and that they will not be able to win it anymore no matter how many lottery tickets they buy. That would be fair.

Did you like this? Share it:
Opinion: Money talks (establishing a gaming control board on St. Maarten) by

Comments are closed.