NASSAU, Bahamas -- The controversial referendum on the legalisation of gambling shops in The Bahamas has been postponed to January 28, 2013, and the question of establishing a national lottery will be added to the ballot, Prime Minister Perry Christie announced at a press conference on Monday evening.
The announcement comes in the face of mounting criticism as it relates to how the referendum was being handled and many had accused Perry Christie of rushing the process.
Attending Monday night's press conference was one of the UK consultants who Christie said had advised the government not to proceed with a national lottery.
The Bahamas Christian Council on Monday afternoon added its voice to a growing number of calls on the government to postpone the referendum, which was scheduled to take place on December 3.
Critics have argued that voters did not have enough information to make an informed choice. Others said it appeared that only a select number of web shops would benefit from a yes vote.
The opposition has also pointed to the legal integrity of the non-constitutional referendum, and some have said that the Christie administration could save the public purse by simply bringing legislation to the House of Assembly that would legalize gambling, as it does not require a public vote to do so.
The web shop bosses have mounted their own campaign to convince the public to vote yes.
Christie was expected to bring legislation to the House of Assembly on Wedenesday related to gambling.
Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian