THE EDITOR, Sir:I support the plan to allow casino gaming in Jamaica, as it will add to our tourism product line and create numerous employment opportunities to help spur economic growth.
In supporting the legalisation on casino gaming, it has been my view that the activity should be properly controlled, preferably restricted to a particular area or a few select areas. However, based on the early moves, it does not appear this will be the case.
Though not casino gaming per se, the proliferation of gaming lounges across the island in recent years is rather unfortunate. Jamaica ought not to become a gambling Mecca, but a destination that provides for the orderly undertaking of such an activity for the enjoyment by those so interested.
Port Royal, given its colourful history, would have been the ideal place for casino gaming to be concentrated, as I suggested years ago. Twinned with especially downtown Kingston, an ideal cultural/heritage and entertainment tourism zone could be developed, including a cruise ship pier, museums, shopping, restaurants and sidewalk cafés, and other entertainment offerings.
The development of such a tourism product would provide an appeal to those who are not all enamoured with or who would prefer something other than, or in conjunction with, the sand, sun and sea.
Turning to the vexing issue of inadequate beach access in Jamaica, it is most unfortunate that our shores that ought to belong to the people of Jamaica are not being allowed to be enjoyed by all of our people without restrictions.
This undesirable state of affairs is a perfect example of our governments' seemingly acting as a prostitute to special interests and the genetically connected, rather than being fundamentally concerned with providing maximum protection to the interests of the wider citizenry.
Resort owners should allow non-guests access to the beach by implementing appropriate access measures. They could, for instance, provide for a separate access point(s) or have some ID system in place that would easily distinguish guests from non-guests passing through their properties.
KEVIN K.O. SANGSTER