As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. A bill proposing a national gambling activity, a Palau National Lottery, has been introduced as means to raise revenue to aid the bankrupt Civil Service Pension Plan.
The bill amends 11 PNC, Chapter 14, adding a subchapter Palau Lottery Commission. It creates a lottery commission that will undertake the management of the national lottery operation.
The purpose of the lottery bill according to its findings is to “revitalize the Republic’s revenue streams which are most important during times like this.”
The bill allows the commission to deduct operating costs and remit the remaining amount to National Treasury and out of the proceeds deposited, 5 million will be paid to Civil Service Pension Fund each year and the remaining balance will go to the Unrestricted General Fund in the National Treasury.
In 2011, a referendum on whether Palau should establish a Gaming Casino Commission was rejected by 75.5% of the total votes cast in a national election.
Since then, several proposed gaming and gambling bills have been proposed. In addition, a previous law that allowed for online gaming, the Pachinko gaming is still in the books.
Sentiments from the public showed confusion on whether or not Palau rejected gambling in 2011. “Gambling is illegal, why do we have another bill proposing gambling,” stated an irate local referring to another bill recently introduced to establish Palau Gaming Commission.
The 2011 referendum referred to an establishment of casino gaming in Palau, a physical facility where gaming can take place. What has been in the law and is being proposed now, is online gaming or lottery system which may or may not require a physical place designation.
The lottery bill finding also states that lottery is legal in 45 states and revenue derived from them are put into education and/or infrastructure development and can be used to address social goals including combatting non-communicable diseases among other laudable community goals.