Church leaders are unhappy with Tuesday's announcement by Dr Peter Phillips, minister of finance and planning, that the Government will be targeting the lottery as an added means of earning revenue for the country. In addition, lottery tickets will now be sold on Sundays and public holidays.
"The fact that the Government is now going to be using gambling as an added means of gaining revenue does not sit well with us, and never will," said Reverend Everet Brown, president of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
He said it doesn't matter what the minister announces, "whether it's Sunday, public holiday or any day of the week, we do not support gambling in any form. We cannot support gambling as a means to generate income, whether for the country or any individual."
However, Pastor Charles Francis of the Faith United Church of God International said the announcement came as no surprise.
"I have seen so many church values put aside by society, that this is just another move to remove moral values out of society," he said.
Francis said in spite of whatever move the government makes, the Church will remain resolute in its stance against gambling and all forms of immorality.
Phillips made the announcement in Parliament as part of the new tax measures to increase revenue earnings for the country and reduce the outstanding debt. Lottery companies will be asked to pay more gross-profit taxes.