So now we know. The word ‘gamble’ is defined in the Oxford dictionary as ‘take a risky action in the hope of a desired result’ and ‘a risky undertaking or enterprise.’ I suggest that both may well have applied to Abid Gulzar’s decision to acquire the pier.
We have been told his intention was to benefit the people of Eastbourne but his first action was to rob the fishermen of their rights to fish from the end of the pier and threaten a £2 entry fee. Since then a number of ‘good intentions’ have so far come to nought as a result of his obvious planning of a casino project.
Mr Gulzar states ‘it would bring extra income to the town’ and suggests it would ‘boost our economy’. The extra income will go straight to him with only his bank balance being boosted. Originally, he indicated that as a Muslim he could not condone the re-introduction of slot machines, as had been available in the Blue Room. Now, however, he supports gambling in one of its worst forms!
Surely Eastbourne has more than its fair share of daily gambling available via a mass of betting shops and thousands of mobile ‘phones and other electronic equipment on which the most incredible range of apps can ensure that the average ‘punter’ can lose his or her shirt in seconds.
A casino will become another place for our young to squander their hard-earned money with the usual detrimental effect on their families. The history of gambling supplies clear evidence that it is only bookmakers and casino operators who are the long-term winners. Should this ill-conceived project go ahead Mr Gulzar will be able to join their ranks. This proposal should be scotched forthwith. There are numerous activities which can be placed on the pier which would benefit the residents of Eastbourne of all ages. Betting on the spin of a roulette wheel is not one of them. This only gambles with the lives of people.
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