We can manage without casinos
05.10.2012 00:00For several years I hear that Batumi became a rave city on the Black Sea coast. Recently, a British journalist has written that in Georgia they love to compare Batumi with Sukhum and Tskhinval .Batumi, the capital of Adjara freed from Abashidze power, thrives, and the capitals of Abkhazia and South Ossetia could not even regain their pre-war levels.
The owners of Batumi shops are delighted with local economy’s thrive - billions of lights and slot machines are attracting an unprecedented before the number of tourists. Each year new and more spacious hotels are opened and more flashy casinos are built. On many of them Turkish flags proudly flutter, because most of the money is left in Batumi by Turks - last year almost 750,000 Turkish citizens visited the Ajarian capital. The passport control at the border is easier for them - they can come here in the evening, simply showing passports.
On the one hand, it is good that on the whole the Black Sea coast is actively developing - British journalists apparently do not go to Sochi, so no one writes about the rapid development of this part of the coast. With the lapse of the time, as between Abkhazia and Georgia normal diplomatic relations will be established and well-maintained highway will surround the Black Sea, our coast will compete with the Mediterranean tourism.
On the other, the same British journalist emphasizes that Batumi is trying to create " a little strange copy of Las Vegas," and that less enthusiastic response is heard in Turkey on this issue. According to the Batumi Turkey’s consulate data, many wives of Turkish citizens phone the consulate up and ask for help to find their husbands who fell into the gambling - some come there to play almost every day after work, and others have already gone bankrupt because of gambling debts.
Unfortunately, there is no public data about how many local people fell victim of the "one-armed bandits", but we can assume that the mad game did not get around them. Do one need to lift the economy up at such a price?
We still remember well what a tragedy for some of our citizens turned the appearance of slot machines on the city streets, especially it made a pernicious impact on the youth, having no internal barriers for temptations. Thanks to Tsiza Gumba, who raised the public and persuaded the parliament to pass a law on banning gambling.
Yes, been unrecognized by the most part of international community, Abkhazia develops slower than Adjara, and the streets of our capital do not glitter so brightly. But to rip off other people and their citizens, taking advantage of their weakness and the ephemeral hope to get rich overnight, is not the most decent way of development.