CITA calls for change to booze and music laws

| 22/02/2018 | 107 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): The Cayman Islands Tourism Association is asking government to change the laws relating to liquor licensing and music and dancing following the negative impact on the sector this New Year. The private sector body said it has had a series of meetings with Commerce Minister Joey Hew, other government officials and members of the Liquor Licensing Board to talk about the “grievance and disappointment” in the tourism industry arising from restrictions to music and dancing on New Year’s Eve 2017, which fell on a Sunday. But the sector may have an uphill battle to secure real change. 

CITA President Theresa Leacock-Broderick and the CITA directors are calling for a review and revision to the relevant laws to ensure that such situations are avoided in future. The association is also advocating for the “elimination of any ambiguities particularly regarding the general playing of music and liquor sales on Sundays”.

In a release about the issue, CITA said the laws must not unreasonably restrict the industry’s ability to deliver on the service and entertainment expectations of visitors to the Cayman Islands.

“We are pleased to learn that Minister Hew has already commenced with the preliminaries and that he is open to the input of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association,” said Leacock-Broderick. “We now understand that it may be possible to address some of the industry’s issues and concerns in the short-term, while others may have to be addressed as part of a comprehensive review and revision of the laws in the longer term.”

But it appears that the government is not ready to act quickly to make any significant changes and still has one eye on opposition from the conservative voices in the community that do not want to see changes to any kind of Sunday trading or booze sales.

Hew told CITA that the government recognises the importance of tourism to the country but other associations will be consulted prior to any draft revisions, which ultimately will be open to further public consultation. “I look forward to working with all our stakeholders to arrive at decisions that are in the best interests of our people and these islands,” Hew said.

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell has said his ministry supports the collaborative approach to bringing about a resolution to these issues but has made no firm commitment to back a fundamental change to the laws that currently limit Sunday business involving booze and music.

“Tourism is a dynamic industry and we remain open to exploring options which meet visitor expectations while respecting the values and perspective of our people,” he said.

During the previous PPM led administration, then commerce minister Wayne Panton, who had supported a revision of these and Sunday trading legislation, failed to achieve any meaningful change to this collection of legislation as a result of concerted opposition from the grass-roots Progressive membership and the church.

The Liquor Licensing Board has also come up against some thorny problems over the sale of booze on Sundays by retail liquor stores and the challenges presented by the current licensing law. At the last meeting of the board, now chaired by Noel Williams, both he and his deputy attorney, Lynne Bodden, said the legislation needed to be changed to create a level playing field and remove any confusion about who and under what restrictions stores and gas stations can sell alcohol on Sundays.

CITA has said it intends to collect more views from its members in order to clearly represent and advocate for the sector during the process of legislative changes. It is encouraging members to attend their regular sector meetings and to participate in the discussion groups and surveys on this subject over the upcoming weeks.

For more information email or (345)949-8522

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Category: Business, Food and Drink

Comments (107)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The only freedom in Cayman is the freedom for nosy christians with nothing better to do deciding what arbitrary parts of the bible they want to enforce on everyone else, while completely ignoring their own sins and shortcomings

  2. Reverend J Crossand says:

    False flag stop this foolishness how much money is enough Lock this shit down maintain dry periods We don’t need any more drunks .Stop changing our laws to suit drunkenness Sober Up

    • Anonymous says:

      Nonesense. The pastors etc just want to keep their flock to support their lifestyles. SUVs and nice houses.
      Letting people go to a liquor store on a Sunday should be a human right as much as going to church. What about people who go to church on other days
      Either keep everything open or close everything. 21st century country with 19th century ideals.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree. Unfortunately, the boozaholics will be out enmasse with all kinds of rhetorical BS as to why they don’t agree.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Religion controlling what people can or cannot do on any day of he week is simply wrong. By the way it’s 2018.
    The only good things to come out of religion have been beer and kungfu.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I don’t even think the tourists are the ones complaining about can’t drink and party on Sundays. It’s more about the greedy establishments owners wanting every penny in their till every day of the year. Cayman has always had these customs and as far as I know tourist still come. Who knows, perhaps some of them are happy to get away from the drink and noise for a few days. There is an onslaught of people so unhappy because we are trying to hold on to our norms and cultures for as long as possible, the gays, the partying crowd, the atheist and all the others who don’t even know what they believe or who they really are. Cayman has come along way in some aspects, but the things that make us unique are being threatened from all sides. People of the Cayman Islands who value our way of life , whether you are a Caymanian or not, whether you worship on Sunday/ Saturday or not, let your voices be heard. Keep the faith and do not give up or give in. There is more with us than against us.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your youth is turning against you and it’s unstoppable. You don’t have the right to control anyone, so take that back to your cave and stay there.

    • Anonymous says:

      In that case you should advocate for an alcohol free island on any day.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is a “Sunday trading” issue, not restricted to liquor and dancing. Supermarkets should be open too – visitors arrive on island and nothing is open! It’s 2018!

    • Anonymous says:

      They could always take their holiday at a Walmart. Voila: no inconvenience in 2018

      • Diogenes says:

        Except traveling to the states to go to a walmart because our backward ass country is run by political parties who leashes are held by the far right religious fundamentalists and bible literalists is inconvienient in and of itself

        Let the people who want to go to church go to church and let the persons who want to go grocery shopping go grocery shopping
        I am sure plenty grocery store employees need the extra money or they could hire some part time workers who need cash

      • Anonymous says:

        Eventually they will

    • Anonymous says:

      At least let the bookstores open!

  6. Anonymous says:

    What’s going to happen with the music event planned to take place on Feb 15-16 2019? Isn’t the 16 a Sat night? zzzzz great festival that stops at midnight..smh…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Even certain Arab countries allow visitors to embibe, dance and whatever in hotels, bars and restaurants whenever they choose.Why should these so called conservatives be allowed to control the normal people? If they don’t want to drink or dance on a Sunday, I respect their choice. They don’t have to go, no one is going to make it compulsory. As long as they can dance in church right? Hypocrisy at its churchy best. Try to stay with the world Cayman…you are starting to look beyond old fashioned.

    • Anonymous says:

      ‘Normal people’ = drinking, dancing drunks?

      • Diogenes says:

        I do believe the point of this post is normal countries understand religious freedoms go both ways, to the religious and the irreligious (while Cayman seems to get that one mixed up)
        Even some of those countries we would classify as fundamentalist, have more nuanced views on some of these issues than we seem to do


      • Anonymous says:

        As opposed to control freak Church goers? Give me freedom over tyranny any day.

    • Anonymous says:

      For people living near pubs and clubs, it is the only day in which they don’t have to hear the music. If a decibel level could finally be established and enforced, I think most people wouldn’t mind what is done or when.

      Nobody cares much about dancing. Most of the problem is with disturbance, noise, fights and drunk and disorderly people.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ahhh, the fox making suggestions for the hen house

  9. Anonymous says:

    Dear God botherers: If you don’t want to drink or dance on a Sunday don’t. But please stop inflicting your religious views on the rest of us.


    The people living in the 21st century.

    • Anonymous says:

      I completely agree with you. What I’m saying is, don’t use religion to justify one part of commerce then disregard it for another. It just grieves me that our lawmakers play that game. I’m there in the 21st century with you, so that’s why am I befuddled. Allow any commerce on Sunday, not just a collection plate. Once I’ve finished my business, then I’ll go for a dance and a drink, no harm with that.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Can the Fosters, Kirkconnells and Thompsons have input on this also. Would also be nice for some ingredients for my Sunday meal or some nails or screws to finish my weekend project. Oh yeah, Sunday is the Lords day. Be very careful Cayman, do not call the Lords name in vain.

    • Anonymous says:

      Some people observe the Lord’s day as Saturday !

      • Anonymous says:

        Some do Fridays. Me, I would much rather not go to work on Mondays.

      • Anonymous says:

        7:56 Strictly speaking Shabbat starts just before sunset on Friday but I’ve been to Kabbalat Shabbat parties in Israel that went on way after it got dark. Tourist resorts like Eilat and businesses run by non-Jews are also exempt from the Shabbat restrictions. If the Israelis can do it why not here?

    • Anonymous says:

      What is preventing you from getting your supplies on Friday or Saturday. Most hardware stores do not really want to open on a Sunday anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      The large family-owned supermarkets will not open, the Law will therefore not change.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Let us smoke our marijuana in peace on Sundays.

  12. Anonymous says:

    ppm will do nothing….
    remember daylight savings time fiasco…..ppm are afraid of their own shadow…..

  13. Anonymous says:

    Enjoying your life and buying books on a Sunday. These things annoying the Baby Jesus, the Sky Fairy and the Easter Bunny.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the religious point is that those things annoy you. I’m guessing that your ‘happy life’ is so full of shiney things that you don’t even notice. Carry on…

  14. Al Catraz says:

    No one has yet addressed the urgent need for appropriate laws to require that churches remain closed during times that alcohol may be sold.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Never! Take your eye off money. That way you will always be miserable.

  16. Tourism cheap labour says:

    CITA is a Bunch of liquor License carpet baggers who wants to turn the only day of peace into madness. We had a record breaking stay over tourism year and not being able to selling alcohol on Sundays and New Year did not affect stay over tourism. We will not have New Years fall on a Sunday for another seven years.
    Why don’t CITA lobby Government to pay the $6 CI mininum wage instead of only paying 75% and using tips to pay staff. Bunch of cheap skates.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re right but no one will listen to you. Very many drunk, high, delusional people here…everywhere.

    • Anonymous says:

      Only reason for record tourism, is record 2017 hurricanes. Those same tourists cannot believe they cannot shop or buy booze or dance after midnight Saturdays, or all day Sundays (unless in a bar or restaurant). So lets just keep that reason for them not to come back, right? have you ever heard of change or progress?

  17. Diogenes says:

    The only reason why they are objecting to the moral policing of society by the state is because it affected their bottom line, I wonder how many thousands of dollars were lost due to that antiquated law?
    Note the same ones decrying big government and government overreach into the private lives of citizens are the ones who support these wide-reaching and sometimes invasive religious laws and hence are eerily silent .

    The power of these church groups has completely corrupted the political system on these islands, these politicians live in fear of upsetting the religious sentiments of a denomination and that is without mentioning the government subsidies to these churches. To what end?
    We can’t afford to have textbooks but we can afford to give millions to help build churches, the husks of which lay unfinished even after government funds were given. Some will claim that these are necessary projects and the government has taken note of their value and potential use, yet the government seems unconcerned that some are still nowhere near completion. That seem more like gifts, free and clear to me, as these grants have few if any strings attached.

    Meanwhile our legislators are concerned with
    Sex toys, a mother’s rights (in relation to reproduction), sabbath laws, laws protecting modesty of women (while men have no such protections, which amuses me to no end) the lack of protections for specific minorities, substances like cannabis, rules regarding consent, laws which are written with different punishments for women and men etc etc
    all influenced or written based on the arbitrary morals of a book that supports and is filled with immoralities and things outlawed today

    You want to see unnecessary government waste I suggest you read that article

    Everyone in Cayman knows that one church group is the difference between sitting in the LA and potentially keeping your seat and being out in the cold so to speak, any one of these groups has the power to swing the vote in their respective constituencies.
    This system only works for those on the inside, instead of for all involved, Cayman needs to step boldly into the new age
    Even if that means taking a page out of Philip IV’s playbook or transporting the “Pope” to France (students of history might get those references, though I won’t hold my breath )

    • Anonymous says:

      Church funding needs to stop. If they cannot stand soley on the support of their members, they are not proper churches. If I was in power, I would stop all funding of churches this minute, and make it illegal to do so. Separation of Church and State. Pastors should not be telling their flocks who to vote for based on the size of the possible contribution that church will receive. The flock should not be listening to that. Anywhere else, and that would be corruption charges.

      • Diogenes says:

        No such separation on Cayman (or in the UK for that matter, religious officials are regularly made peers in the HoL)
        In UK they are only given representation they don’t dictate policy and they certainly don’t have the power to swing elections
        While church leaders here regularly interfere in legislation and government policy in an unofficial way (making public statements and sending letters to legislators if they perceive actions negatively)
        all while receiving funding from the CIG
        They love the arrangement they have on these islands
        They are revered, and above reproach and they have mindless followers who come at their beck and call, they have sway in all spheres and sectors and they regularly exert their power and privilege for the continuation of this perverse system
        Most if not all legislation or policies are written to ensure approval by these groups and the government supports their actions in an official capacity

        We truly have ourselves between a rock and a hard place and all to pander to and ever-shrinking religious voting block


    • Anonymous says:

      Some of us can still remember when the churches were responsible for keeping communities together, educationally, culturally, as well as morally. So yes, some of us, I might add many of us will always support the churches and Christians on these three beloved islands. We are not going to change to suite you who ridicule. Honestly we really do not lose any sleep worrying about what you have to say.

    • Anonymous says:

      The churches might not have been finished but lots of houses were… the Lord works in mysterious ways!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Businesses and individuals who want to sell and consume alcohol on any particular day, including Sundays, should have the right to. Those who chose not to, can refrain. Simple!!!

  19. Sunrise says:

    I am not a religious person and do not support religions, but please let us keep one day a week alcohol free. I think 6 days a week is quite enough time to consume alcohol. Your body does need time to cleanse itself of the toxics, so why not relax on Sunday and have a refreshing swim instead. I seriously don’t see a need for alcohol sales or loud music on Sundays!!! I think we have enough alcoholics on these islands as it is. Have a great weekend and a sober Sunday!!

    • Diogenes says:

      You do understand that the act of drinking is still perfectly legal on Sunday, people just do it on boats, or in their homes or other venues, the “alcoholics” still get as many drinks as they want
      The point isn’t that people are saying there isn’t enough time in the week to consume alcohol the point is, it should be no concern of the government what day a legal adult can purchase and consume alcohol if he or she so chooses. If business want to be open and sell alcohol on that day as well it should be their choice (insert right wing bullshit about worshiping the free market’s supremacy). This is just moral policing by the religious right because they feel like restricting an entire community to their religious beliefs (which should be illegal, but thanks to our established state religion isn’t ).

      Imagine if the law was written differently and everyone on island had to observe Ramadan by law in the same manner as an orthodox Muslim, there would be riots in the streets by christian groups claiming this religious law breached their freedoms

      Though you can rationalize this however you choose, it would amount to the same basic situation, legal adults being unable to consume substances because of a law clearly written to be a form of religious limitation on the all persons not just the members of a religion


    • Sunrise says:

      My point is; we have enough alcoholics on the island, thus the thumbs down prove. :). Try a nice refreshing swim my native Caymanians!! What a subject we are fighting over, quite frightening, when we have so much more important issues!!

      • Diogenes says:

        All issues are connected though you rarely understand the nuances involved
        More bars supermarkets and establishments open on Sundays means more revenue, more paid employees, more hired workers, less unemployment, more money for those near poverty, money spent in our economy, GDP growth ect ect

        Go take a long swim and actually think about the economics of our ridiculous laws an extra 52 days a year of income for low wage earners, could make a huge difference for some

        • Anonymous says:

          Dollar signs in your eyeballs doesn’t mean a better world my conceptual friend. Reflect on that.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Get rid of these stupid laws

  21. Anonymous says:

    Open up the market. It is a free enterprise

  22. Anonymous says:

    Im okay with the current laws, I drink and dance. Just buy before hand, then party at your own residence… Whats so aggravating about that?

    • Anonymous says:

      Leaving the boozers out of this for a second: what’s aggravating is arriving after a 14 hour flight with a colicky infant and finding the supermarkets and pharmacies closed. No diapers, no milk/formula, no num-nums or other necessary provisions. That’s real life for many mothers – one of the most important consumer segments.

      • Anonymous says:

        I believe any mother who really cared about her baby would travel with those items anyway. When my kids were little and I travelled with them I had the meds, the diapers, the milk/ formula etc just in case. most babies wouldn’t even let you put an unfamiliar num-num in their mouths so please try that one again.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bad parenting. Sorry, but that’s what it looks like to me. Try not being so selfish and give a little more thought to your progeny.

  23. Anonymous says:

    What you say…..? If Mr joey hew and Mr Moses kirkconnell don’t start doing something about these liquor licence places serving and having these under age teens in their business places , I will guarantee I will be a hell to recond with if I walk in and find one in there..oh yea. Ask for I.d and make sure it’s a good one ,’s all about the money for some of you .but your business will be in trouble. .. Stop serving minors alcohol .

    • Anonymous says:

      It has become “normal” for 13, 14, and 15 year olds to go clubbing in the Cayman Islands, because there are no inspectors or fines, and thus, no ID checks. Liquor inspector, if there actually is someone with that title, should be fired and these places fined heavily.

      • Diogenes says:

        This hasn’t “become” normal
        This has BEEN normal for years it began long before this generation currently doing it unless we are going to pretend otherwise

        Cayman doesn’t have the same issues with underage house parties (which there are also plenty of) but most bars and clubs will let in 15 year olds without blinking

      • Anonymous says:

        I believe such activities are quite common among lower class children in many countries.

        • Anonymous says:

          Nice try – here it’s kids from all walks of life going clubbing at 15 often with the consent of their parents or a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ attitude of parents with their heads in the sand. And many of those from what you would call the upper echelons of our society. Shocking that many willingly let their teens hang out at clubs and the parking lot shenanigans that go along with them. The licensees need to check for valid ID and promptly send the kids home who shouldn’t be there. Not hard to do if you are willing to forgo the teen sales for the evening.

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