I now come to the thorny issue of ‘Nation Zougadère’.
Madam Speaker, during the electoral campaign we took a strong commitment to put order in this mess.Let me announce those measures:
- First, a total ban on gambling advertisement. This decision takes effect immediately.
- Second, a total ban on issue of new gaming and betting licenses except for casinos, for a period of five years.
- Third, a total ban on scratch cards also known as ‘cartes à gratter’.
I think that this section of the budget speech has surprised most of us, especially when we know that the lotto is a big source of revenue for the government itself since nearly half of the profits made are invested in social projects for the benefits of the population. And who would have the guts to touch the gambling industry, sometimes linked to mafia?
DOWN, Down, down…
The repercussion has indeed been quasi-instantaneous. No adverts. No Scratch Cards. No new permits. Increased fees for permits and licenses. I just can’t imagine the frustration, anger and deception to the main stakeholders of the gambling companies, more specifically, the Lotto. I’m not an economist expert (not even an amateur) but there is no doubt that the shares will be going down. Initially put for sale at Rs10 per unit, I think that one unit can now be valued at at Rs7.72, as shown above (Anyone, please correct me if necessary)
The new (useless) tool which is now obsolete
A couple of weeks ago, a retailer of scratch cards was distributing the above thing, some kind of ‘scratching’ tool, fitted with a sharp edge. No need to damage your nails or look for a coin to discover if you have won anything on scratch cards. But now that the government has immediately banned all scratch cards on the Mauitian territory, Lottotech’s new scratching tool becomes quite useless and obsolete too.
Perhaps someone can try to recycle this or use them as key holders? lol.
Avez vous jouer au loto cette semaine?
I believe that huge amount of money are spent in advertising daily, an investment which is more than necessary to tempt the population to make them become greedy. And it is no secret that frequency of advertising campaigns are intensified when the jackpot is exceptionally high.
Most of you might not remember the date : Since the 1st March 2009, adverts promoting alcohol and cigarette have been banned altogether with the prohibition to consume alcohol and smoke in public areas. 6 years later, I actually find this a good thing but the question is : Did this really decrease the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes?
The budget itself :
Personally, I find that the decision about banning adverts is a good one. Advert campaigns became too ‘aggressive’ recently but I don’t think that the government should have banned scratch cards. Instead, they could have introduced restrictions and regulations to control the same cards. Also, why did the government exclude casinos from the list of permits which won’t be approved for the next years? Overall, I found the budget pretty good but some other decisions leave me perplex. Just to quote two of them :
- Why give 10 years of income-tax free and duty free cars to those who want to come back to the country? I find this unfair to all those Mauritians who are working hard to make both ends meet!
- Giving 6m3 of free water to each household was not a necessity. Instead, the government should have identified the families in real needs. Just as an example, identify those having income less than Rs10,000 for instance) to provide them with free water for up to Rs50 monthly.
Just my 2 cents.