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Chamber of Unions: "Casinos are having a negative impact on society"

The Daily Herald, 22 July 2000

PHILIPSBURG--Casinos are having a negative impact on society and luring a number of the island's young people, who should be looking towards improving their education, the Windward Islands Chamber of Labour Unions (WICLU) said yesterday.

President of the Chamber Theophilus Thompson said the youth are lured to the casinos with the misconception that they will make a lot of money, but the years have gone when casinos used to make money, "nowadays is more exploitation."

Thompson said that to address the problem, a minimum age should be established for work in the casinos and the policy regarding casinos which had been submitted by Coopers and Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouse Coopers) should be implemented.

This recommendation suggested, among other things, that there should be no more stand-alone casinos and that casinos should only be attached to hotels with a certain number of rooms.

WICLU said that if the Socio Economic Council had been functioning, these matters would have been brought forward by the unions, to prevent "the further deterioration of our society."

Thompson said that since this was not the case, the unions planned to use the tripartite meetings (among government, unions and business) to deal with these issues.