Democratic Alliance: Supports Concept of Gaming

May 5, 2010

bermuda democratic allianceCraig Cannonier, Leader of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance [BDA] spoke on behalf of the BDA saying “The Alliance supports the concept of gaming in Bermuda, but only in association with legislation that will clearly, fairly and transparently regulate its implementation.

The BDA do not support all the recommendations in the Green Paper, and say they will only support a gaming bill if certain criteria are met such as reducing the potential anti-social effects, eliminating any unethical behaviour through potential government interference and transparency in Government use of proceeds.

The position of the BDA, Bermuda’s newest political party, is in stark contrast to that of the UBP who stated yesterday they feel gaming is not in Bermuda’s best interest and that the negatives outweigh any potential benefits.

Gaming has been a highly controversial issue amongst locals, and will be debated in the House this coming Friday, although no vote will be taken

According to the Green Paper, gambling would add nearly 3,000 jobs and up to $146 million a year to Bermuda’s economy. You can read the full 79 page study here

The island’s religious community have strongly opposed the concept citing social concerns. Approximately 80 pastors and leaders from over 70 churches created a group “United For Change” to oppose gaming in Bermuda.

Managing director of Fairmont Hotels Bermuda Norman Mastalir spoke at the UBP town hall on gaming on Apr 29, saying that the hotel industry in Bermuda has been losing money for a decade, and will not survive unless changes are made.

Mr Cannonier’s full statement follows below:

The Bermuda Democratic Alliance has carefully reviewed the Green Paper and has debated at length the issues related to gaming in Bermuda. The Alliance supports the concept of gaming in Bermuda, but only in association with legislation that will clearly, fairly and transparently regulate its implementation. This is very important since we do not support all of the recommendations in the Green Paper.

The Alliance will only support an actual gaming bill if certain criteria are met. Whilst the following requirements for support of an actual bill are not exhaustive we believe that everything possible must be done to:

1. Reduce the potential anti-social effects of furthering gaming operations in Bermuda.

2. Eliminate the potential for unethical behaviour through potential government interference in gaming operations.

3. Ring fence proceeds from gaming that go to government for particular projects to ensure transparency.

Though careful implementation and regulation, it is possible to find the middle ground, a better way. The Alliance will only support legislation which incorporates gaming if we are confident that the process will be open and fair, and that it’s implementation will benefit Bermuda as a whole. We believe that gaming has the potential to contribute to our tourism industry, but recognize that this is only one part of a number of measures which are necessary to re-establish a quality and comprehensive tourism product. Gaming alone will not salvage tourism, but can be a part of the recovery. In short gaming and casinos must not be an illusion of a solution to the failing tourism product and should be just one piece of the puzzle in rejuvenating tourism.

We welcome the necessary further discussion and debate on the gaming issue, and our MP’s will expand upon these points in the House on Friday. It is our pledge that if the necessary controls are not put in place when a bill is tabled we will not be able to support it.

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  1. About Time says:

    Glad to see someone has a brain. Until the Church gets elected they should not be running the country.

  2. me says:

    there is no separation, the church does run the country.. the church is the people, the people are also voters . they do not vote in bulk as a group,.. further still think about the whole system and who truly runs it? and therein lies the problem. the mindsets of people who are become like sheeple.