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Morning draws added for Play Whe, Pick 2

By Carla Bridglal

In ten days' time, people will have three opportunities to try their luck at the Play Whe and Pick 2 betting games, when the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) introduces a new 10.30 a.m. draw time.

The popular gambling game is already drawn Mondays to Saturdays, at 1 p.m. and 6.30 p.m.

Calls to the NLCB seeking more information relating to the new time slot went unanswered, but economist Indera Sagewan-Alli suggests that from an economic perspective, it could mean that perhaps due to a reduction in betting, the NLCB is trying to find ways to stimulate activity so they can maintain or ramp-up a reduced revenue stream.

She also proposes that it could be that the board may be looking to capitalise on the "normal man trying to make a quick buck".

"It's not surprising, given the decline in the economy; although interestingly, very often when you have a decline in the economic well-being in a country, things like gambling tend to increase because people tend to try to find a quick fix, even though they have less money," she said.

Leela Ramdeen, chairman of the Catholic Commission for Social Justice (CCSJ), said another Play Whe draw is not the way to build a nation.

"Is that what will create the common good? The common good is where everyone has the opportunity to realise potential. And that means looking at what skills and knowledge we want people to develop—not playing these games. As chair of CCSJ, that is what I would say. I wonder if we are going down the right road because people will spend their little money, trying to win. I am disappointed," she said.

During a quick poll in downtown Port of Spain, one woman said while she did not play often, "if it's a money-making thing, why not?"

Another avid punter said he was excited because it meant more money for him. When asked what he did with his winnings, he said, "I does drink it out."

Another man said he did not mind the new time slot, but if people wanted to play, that was their business.

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