OBA: ‘Gaming Should Be Put To A Referendum’

August 24, 2011

OBA Shadow Minister for Tourism Pat Gordon-Pamplin addressed Minister Patrice Minor’s recent comments about gambling, saying: “The OBA has already said that the issue of gaming should be put to a referendum preceded by a comprehensive education campaign. This would highlight the pros and cons of the proposal and enable the public to render the most informed decision.”

Ms Gordon-Pamplin said, “Tourism Minister Patrice Minors, in a press interview on Monday, has said she is going to push introducing gaming to Bermuda. Our question is whether the Minister’s statement reflects the position of the Government of Bermuda?

“The second question relates to how the Minister intends to measure public opinion on the issue. By referendum? She mentioned town hall meetings, but they surely are not the answer.

“One of the core elements of the OBA’s better governance platform is to engage the public more directly in decision-making. One aspect of this objective is the use of referenda to measure public opinion, particularly on controversial issues. If that is the intention of the Government on the gaming issue, then Bermuda needs to hear it.

“On this point, the OBA has already said that the issue of gaming should be put to a referendum preceded by a comprehensive education campaign. This would highlight the pros and cons of the proposal and enable the public to render the most informed decision.

“On a final point, we hope the Minister does not see gaming as a silver bullet – a cure-all for the Bermuda’s tourism industry. While gaming would provide a tourism lift – certainly in the short-term – we cannot take our eye off the crucial need to provide our visitors with the best, most professional, most welcoming level of service possible. Achieve that and we would not have to contemplate desperate measures,” concluded Ms Pamplin-Gordon.

According to the Green Paper released last year, gambling would add nearly 3,000 jobs and up to $146 million a year to Bermuda’s economy. The release of the Green Paper was followed by a debate on gaming in the House of Assembly, with only 20% of MPs speaking in favour of relaxing the anti-gaming laws.

The only MPs to speak in favour were then-Premier Dr Ewart Brown, Zane DeSilva, Walter Lister, Michael Weeks, Mark Pettingill, Shawn Crockwell and Darius Tucker.

Those that spoke against included then-Deputy Premier Paula Cox, Wayne Furbert, Patrice Minors, Elvin James, Alex Scott, Walter Roban, Randy Horton, Dale Butler, Dame Jennifer Smith, Michael Scott, Lovitta Foggo, Ashfield DeVent, Dennis Lister, Kim Swan, John Barritt, Bob Richards, Dr Grant Gibbons, Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, Louise Jackson, Charles Swan, Cole Simons, Trevor Moniz, and Donte Hunt.

A number of MPs from both sides of the aisle spoke in favour of a referendum on gaming.

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  1. No Gambling Referendum, MPs To Decide | Bernews.com | December 13, 2013
  1. The Gambler says:

    Whats all the fuss gaming is already here do you know how many people go to the betting shops, do it on line and the like.

    • Black Soil says:

      Gambling is already here in Bermuda. Bermudians spend millions gambling on their computers and also at Queen Street. We need govt to recognize reality and legalize a casino. Once that is done a new Tourism Authority should decide how to regulated it. If we decide that politicians should decide who get’s the casino license and also how to regulate the casino, then nothing will happen.

      • Pastor Syl says:

        @ Black Soil: By your reasoning, because drugs are here already, we aught to legalize them too?! Not!

        We have an addictive population which we are not yet handling adequately. Gambling, which impacts the same nerve centers in the brain as any other highly addictive drug, would put yet another nail in the coffin of those who are vulnerable and underserved…which then impacts the rest of us. Gamblers can lose their whole paycheck in a few hours, leaving their families without money for rent/mortgage, clothing, even food, which the rest of then have to pick up the slack. That too is happening already, by report.

        There are some who can gamble once in a while, lose a few dollars and stop. Just like some of us can go out and have a drink or two and stop. Not every one can do that. Alcohol, over time and with regular excessive use, eventually will become a problem. The process is usually quite gradual. Let a gambler have a early big win and almost invariably, they are hooked and “off to the races.”

        This is a very difficult decision we have to make. The pros and cons are crucial on both sides. I would like to see an independent study done by a group unconnected to any gambling concerns elsewhere, unlike the group that was here before. That way, the findings are less likely to be biased.

        We also need to be very certain that we are not inviting in an additional or perhaps I should say, an increased criminal element. Gambling has traditionally been tied to the Mafia and other criminal elements. It would be essential to have some strong safeguards in place PRIOR to opening the gambling doorway.

        • star man says:

          Is Bda gonna turn into more of a Nanny State than we already are?! Protecting people from themselves? I hope not. Everyone’s gotta learn their own lessons the hard way.

          • tread lightly says:

            I agree. Gov’t is too large already. Many issues should be settled by direct vote. It is clear that our electorate is not representing our best interests.

            I would like to see a portion of the revenues generated from gambling (if you worked in finance it’ll be called speculation)somehow go towards public goods and services and not end up in the hands of a few insiders that helped connect the dots to make this a reality. If it were to take place it must benefit the people at large (with concessions for the few addictive types that pastor sal mentions.)

    • Jaws says:

      Plus everybody and their mother goes Vegas.

      Tourist don’t come to Bermuda to go church. They come here for people, beaches, sites and entertainment. OPPS we for got the big E!!

      We don’t have any entertainment. “Oh welcome to Bermuda have a coke and a smile, enjoy the rest of your day.”

      NO NO & NO!! Tourist come here for an average of 3 to 5 nights. They spend $200 a night on a hotel @ the low end. I say for that price let them roll some dice.

      We need casinos. Who gives a crap who owns it as long as some of that money helps government and in turn will help us.

  2. Moojun says:

    Also, we need to discuss what format the gambling would take before we can vote:

    1/ gambling just allowed on the cruise ships while in port?
    2/ gambling allowed on Bermuda too, but for tourists only?
    3/ gambling allowed on Bermuda too, but for both tourists and residents?
    4/ one central, easily controlled casino, or are we talking multiple privately owned concessions?

    All of these (and other variations) need to be discussed before we can simply have a yes/no vote as they all have very different implications for the island.

    • 1minute says:

      On point 4
      One central – would that give John Swan’s new building a purpose???
      I think it should be in hotels and you should have to have a valid hotel room (not just the one the casino is in) or a ship room key to enter. This would give all hotels/tourism a boost.

      • Meh says:

        Sir John’s building is pretty much full I think. I can think of 6 companies off the top of my head who are there.

  3. Allan G says:

    My opinion is that the gaming talk is a potential election ploy to give tourism some sort of momentum in the public eye. A comprehensive tourism strategy should be presented to the country first and foremost! Then pieces like gaming, conference centers and the like can be discussed through that paradigm. We first need to determine what the vision is for tourism in our country so that stakeholders like hotels, restaurants,and business can build their missions and objectives to meet that vision. If we don’t plan properly millions of dollars, thousands of hours, and countless amounts of energy will be wasted. I hope the PSs and Cabinet Ministers take note!!!!

    • star man says:

      And who is gonna do all this fancy strategic planning? Someone in the Dep’t of Tourism? BWAA-HA-HA-Ha-Ha-Ha!! Another in the endless stream of million dollar “consultants?”

      The PLP Gov’t doesn’t have the money. Ewart spent it.

      The only way to revive Tourism is to kick out the PLP at the next election.

      • tread lightly says:

        Right on! But do you feel that the OBA or whatever will be immune to the vices that currupts any politician.
        the only answer is direct democracy thereby rendering the INDIVIDUAL resonsible for their destiny.

  4. Eastern says:

    Although I don’t really support gaming in Bermuda, even though I’ll admit to throwing down a couple of dollars on Crown & Anchor, my biggest fear if casinos are indroduced to Bermuda is who will own and operate the casinos. The last time this issue was brought up there was talk of opening a casino on Front Street. – this would be a big mistake.

    I have heard many arguments concerning the ownership of local casinos with many individuals arguing that the casinos should be owned by Bermudians, but which Bermudians are we talking about. Those that have the money to invest in a casino are probably already quite wealthy and will stand to make outrageous amounts of money from their investment.

    If casinos are allowed to operate in Bermuda they should be owned and operated by the major hotels ONLY. The knock on affect of the hotels owning the casinos will enhance the income of the government (in taxes), the locals (in jobs) and more importantly; the hotels, which would then have the ability to allow for cheaper hotel rates, incresed employment opportuneties, live entertainment, increased ability to advertise their hotel and Bermuda and the ability to upgrade their facilities and infrastructure without the government having to give breaks in import duty (as is currently the case).

    If the casinos are owned by either the government or private individuals the majority of the profits will go into their bank accounts and would be of no help to the hotels that are desparately in need of help. If the hotels owned the casinos they would also have the ability to increase the amount of hotel beds (so lacking in Bermuda) through the increase of profits from their casino. This would be a win-win situation for everyone. But if these casinos are owned by indivduals or entities other than the hotels the only thing they will asssist is the bank balances of those individual investors or entities and not necessarily the country as a whole and definitely not the hotels which we need to help in order to uphold and enhance our foundering economy.

  5. ...optimistic says:

    I’d like to thank Patrice Minors for putting aside her personal feelings about gambling. In politics it should be what is right for the country and it’s people and not about personal feelings or prejudice. Thank you Minister Minors!
    Gambling is not going to the be “the magic bullet” to turn the economy around. If you are looking for that piece of artillery, you’re kidding yourself; it doesn’t exist. What does exist are many small opportunities that, added together, will build a much stronger foundation for Bermuda and it’s people. International business brought tremendous wealth to many parts of Bermuda. I profited from it myself. However, having such a huge dependance on a single leg is not prudent. Diversification of industries is what we need in order to prevent a repeat of this situation in the future. If we can get our costs into line with other jurisdictions opportunities will follow. Our island has a very strong infrastructure along with a mature business environment that could lend itself to any number of intellectual industries.
    We have a long way to go, however I would again like to thank Minister Minors for taking that huge and important step by putting her personal feelings aside and doing what is best for the country and its people. What a great push forward.

  6. Triangle Drifter says:

    Major issues such as gaming should be taken out of the polititians hands. They are so busy worrying about getting elected that they won’t take a stand & vote purely on the merits of an issue.

    US voters have the opportunity to decide for themselves on the ballot on important issues. Why not Bermuda? We don’t even have an absentee vote? How backward is that? Do the polititians consider us so dumb that we would not be able to have OBA vs PLP & a separate issue on the same ballot paper? We would be too confused. Maybe they are right.

  7. skinnydipper says:

    This is so like bermy comin to the race when the horse long left the stable. We had the chance to open town cut channel 6 or so years ago we found every reason to not do it only to find out. What a mistake that was,now the same thing with gamblin. But for stupidity We are going to suffer and continue to untill we realize that bermuda is not another world. We must stay competitive with the world and not when it is to late.8 years ago I would Have support gamblim but today I don’t it will be effect by time we have a casino up and running there will be to much competition. Here is a hint legalize the weed now before we lose the competitive edge there as well

    • tread lightly says:

      Put that to a direct vote (the weed issue)and it’ll be a landslide, a resounding yes! (unless of course the church gets a weighted vote LOL!!)
      You’ll have planes circling around for hours in holding patterns waiting to land!

    • Pastor Syl says:

      @ skinnydipper: Competitive edge on weed?!? For me, the only point to legalizing any drug is so that it is no longer so profitable and thereforloses the interest of the criminal element. Please explain where the competitive edge comes in.

  8. Oh Noes says:

    Cue the religious loonies.

    Lest they forget we already have Bingo, Horse Betting and the annual bouts of Crown and Anchor on the island already.

    Lets start small – a small casino no bigger than the ones on the ships themselves. Let it run for a couple of years, build up some capital where government pledges to put 100% of their “take” into reducing the deficit. Take the rest of the capital (after expenses) and create a tourism improvement fund to improve the casino, build tourist infrastructure and fund events worthy of bringing in guests.

    I know this is simplified, but time to think about it.

  9. OK says:

    WHY WHY WHY can’t we just build a theme/water park? We are SURROUNDED by water!! I don’t understand how they could consider allowing gaming in Bemuda, which I don’t believe will help locals AT ALL and will only cater to adults, when they could build something that will cater to both tourist and locals, aduls and children alike. It would also help with the anti-social behaviour that we are experience with our local teens – THEY ARE BORED, they have NOTHING to do – BUILD them something to keep the POSITIVELY entertained…. while also helping to build our revenue back up… #itseemssosimple…

    • Sean says:

      Why not both? I don’t think we could ever have something as big as Atlantis, say, but we could have something similar on a smaller scale. They have a waterpark, casino, nightclub(s), several amazing restaurants, a comedy club, the list goes on. All things that would keep adults and kids entertained for their entire visit.

      • Oh Noes says:

        Tell me – who would use a water park during the months of November – March? At the end of the day the formulas that work so well in the Caribbean don’t work so well here. Firstly we’re not hot all year round, we don’t have moderate winters, and our land is at a premium.

        What do you do? Build an Atlantis Megalith? No – it’s not reasonable here unless you have investors, land and the people to support it. It would be more reasonable to have 2 or 3 small-scale casinos in places like Dockyard, Southampton Princess and possibly in town initially. Use that to build up capital and finance bigger projects in the long run. Casinos don’t ever ‘lose’ money – it is guaranteed income, US (or foreign) dollars hopefully straight into our economy.

        It’s become obvious that outside investors are fickle – lots of promises, lots of talk about “platinum” resorts and almost NO action. It’s tiring to keep going over the same thing year after year… The horse has bolted – lets see if we at least catch up to the donkey…

        • tread lightly says:

          Maybe it’ll be of some use to people from the north who do not consider 70 degree air temperature and 74 degree water temperature “cold”

          Further, no one said it had to be megalithic…pleny of room for it at morgans point…

    • Allan G says:

      Once again, we need a tourism strategy before we come up with a bunch of different ideas, gaming, water park etc. A perfect start will be all of the data received from the hundreds of thousands of visitors that leave BDA and complete the exit survey. It has questions like:

      What made you come visit Bermuda?
      What was the best part of your stay?
      What would you like to see more of?
      Would you come again? Why/why not?

      Lets us the tools we have to sensibly plan ahead and allow the public to view and comment on each step of the strategy once the framework is presented.

  10. Real Talk says:

    While I haven’t bought into the OBA I think this is a step in the right direction – allowing the public to have a direct say in matters of national importance is a big plus in my book.

  11. Bermyman says:

    I think gaming has massive potential in terms of making Bermuda an attractive place for hotel development. At present Bermuda is not attractive for hotel investment and it is very expensive to develop and run a hotel. Without allowing hotels the option to have casino’s for their guests we limit their ability to earn revenues in comparison to similar tourism destinations.
    In my opinion there needs to be clear parameters about where an individual can gamble, if it is only on private hotel property then it should be limited to Hotel guests only. Therefore if you are Bermudian and wish to gamble, you need to be staying at the hotel. Membership or a gambling license should be issued to all locals in order for social services to keep track and even have the ability to revoke a license should an individual be seen as “at risk” to the financial implications of gambling.
    Reasons why gaming would be good for Bermuda in my opinion:
    Construction Jobs: as I mentioned before, hotel development would most certainly be more attractive as well as refits to existing hotels to accommodate a casino.
    Hotel Jobs: At present we have very few hotels that operate anywhere close to capacity year round, this impacts staffing levels, food and beverage services, sales etc. Gaming would provide an attraction for east coast visitors on the off season which should help boost occupancy numbers.
    Revenue: If Hotels in Bermuda are earning more they can offer more to their guests in terms of other forms of entertainment, shows and other activities.
    Tax: The government could potentially earn large $$$ from taxing gaming income. This would mean indirectly less tax for the public in the form of payroll etc. More money for the government also means more ability to provide the public with government jobs.
    Online: If legislation was in place, Bermuda could support online gaming practices much like Gibraltar and Malta, which are jurisdictions similar to Bermuda with tax advantages. This would be another area of International Business our economy could branch into.
    Moral issues: While gambling has its detrimental effects, we in Bermuda actually gamble on a regular basis. Businesses like game time and sea horses are bookies. We gamble legally and illegally all over the Island. We travel abroad and gamble. The rest of the developed world has the freedom to gamble if they choose, the UK has betting shops all over the place. It comes down to the individual. If you have money invested or a pension plan then you are essentially gambling! If you play Bingo at Church you are also gambling!! If you want to, you could set up an online account today with a credit card and gamble in Bermuda to your heart’s content.
    I in order to implement gaming we would need proper legislation that protects the public and limits the possibility of corruption. But our economy needs a boost and our tourism product is aged and boring. We need to attract investment back into our Island and this is a very good vehicle to do so.

    • Eastern says:

      I agree with you 100%
      See my comments on this site made on August 24th concerning ownership of the casinos. I hope you also agree with my comments concerning ownership of the casinos.

      • Bermyman says:

        Mate, I read them and I 100% agree. Lets just hope people think about how much the positives outwweigh the negatives if gaming is implemented properly.

  12. Aruna Dismont says:

    NO. NO, NO NO.
    Gaming & gambling is not what Bermuda is about.
    People come here for the tranquility. Gaming would ruin that. As if we don’t have enough mess around here already, why bring in gaming. It’s a cop out! Do with what he have here, what we were given on this island is PRICELESS and can be found nowhere else! Informing people is lovely & all, great for transparency….but would do nothing. I can only imagine you’d throw around numbers, and not discuss the non-financial reverb.

    • Meh says:

      yeah…..except people aren’t coming here…..

      • tread lightly says:

        Also Aruna some of that pricelessness is lost everytime a new house is built or a sdo is passed to allow for the further destruction of our environment. I hope you are as vocal in your resistance to thoise issues as well…

  13. i COUNT! says:


    GAMING IS A MAJOR ISSUE! Bring it to the people to decide!

    I support the OBA because I support referendums and the right to contribute to a healthy democracy!

  14. J says:

    Gambling and the introduction of casino’s may seem like a great idea but if we go through with it as a country we must be very careful. Our biggest concern should be corruption. Just look at what happened to Las Vegas in the 70′s and 80′s. There was pocket lining all over, so we must be very careful who is designated to control the immense influx of cash into the island. Politicians can pass legistlation approving the legality of casino’s but in no way should they be involved in opperations. The entire process needs complete transparency. If any politician or friend and family of politician make money from introduction of Casino’s, the public needs to know. Another issue will be staffing these casino’s. Bermudians better be prepared to bring in a lot of expats to fill these jobs. Who in Bermuda is qualified in managing a “successful” casino? How many Bermudian’s are qualified dealers? How many Bermudians are qualified to maintain slot machines? How many Bermudian’s can actually passs the huge vetting process that occurs when applying for a job in a Casino. If you want to be a waiter in a Casino you better be prepared to pass a drug test and background check.

  15. Takbir Sharrieff says:

    Thank G-d that those that spoke against Gaming had the country at heart and Bermuda’s interest for the Future generations of Bermuda and Bermudians in mind and were not self motivated….!Those gaming promoters have self interest in mind and what’s in it for me…..their eyeballs are on that..$146….million being bandied around and tourism is far from their mind…..! If tourism was flourishing and off the hook successful ….they would find another reason to sneak gambling in the back door…..its like the other vices that people want to participate in and legalize in this society……they want licentiousness and wanton…… gay abandon (no pun intended) relaxation of all rules and established virtues to be abandoned….nude beaches…freakish behavior..and the like to prevail…..just check the behavioral patterns of the people promoting these things,,If it walks like a duck …and looks like a duck…quacks like a duck…most likely it is a duck……check! it out !closely. Hedonism… has been on the rise sometime now ……in Bermuda….They just want to get their freak on..!Proud of a Decent Bermuda.!

  16. pebblebeach says:

    ‘Gaming Should Be Put To A Referendum’….the voters would overwhelmingly vote NO…

    Further, it would be a waste of tax payers money to undergo another comprehensive educational campaign….have we not been there done that….that is the reason why only 20% of our MPs spoke in favour of gaming…

    For the record, I would vote YES…..

    • Pastor Syl says:

      @ pebblebeach: “to undergo another comprehensive educational campaign….have we not been there done that” Actually, no we haven’t! We had some guys from a gambling consortium with their own agenda, come here and skew the facts so as to try and convince us that gambling would be a good and safe thing to introduce to this island. I am so glad the politicians voted ‘no’, whatever their reasons.

      I personally don’t agree with gambling, but if it is to come, I would want to have an honest, open, in depth look at the pros and cons so that we can make a truly educated decision.

  17. Angry Tax Payer says:

    I would vote yes! People deserve the right to gamble or not, Bermudians we have to move with the times. What do we have to offer right now? pink sand? beaches? some taxi tours. We have to think about the entire package, as a toursit it cost quite abit of money to come here and stay in any hotel. Then there is potentially something to do depending on the day, harbour nights, etc. Lets explore and open another avenue, to actually entertain people.
    I also think their should be more than one casino and that locals can gamble as well. Why not? please dont tell me because that person can gamble away their life, you can do that in other “legal” ways too. Or is it the churches that object?
    People/adults should be able to make descions for themselves, we cannot go around saying that I dont want people to lose money, or that its a sin, etc. I bet there are a lot of u out there that go to Vegas and everywhere else and gamble. Why dont we keep some of that money circulating here?!

    I really hope that we get it right and do whats best for Bermuda, for all our sakes.

  18. Not Surprised says:

    Sorry to say, But the religious fanatics will reject this idea without even thinking about it. Gaming is a good way to go, as well as a comment above on a water park (also a great idea, for all ages). We offer our tourists nothing but beaches. And yes we already have gambling here! This is something that can be governed if done correclty (privately owned and taxable)and would offer loads of jobs in the hospitality industry. Not to mention might actually help Bermuda recoup money to pay off our insane debt! I encourage people to step out of the box and see thi as an opportuity, instead of assuming NO straight off the bat.

    • Allan G says:

      A waterpark in BDA wouldnt be as successful as many think. Most of our tourist come from the states and waterparks there are a dime a dozen besides 97% of the tourist in the exit survey said they come here for the beaches and natural environment (exit tourist survey that is available to the public).
      Things that we need to think should be:

      1)for a waterpark to be successfully it has to make money, this can only happen if thousands visit everday (most of the year). With our limited population and seasonal and declining tourism numbers we cant guarantee this.

      2)waterparks often link with themeparks/racetracks to make up for the months that they are closed in seasonal locations. BDA doesn’t have the land mass to support an attractive theme park or race track

      3)waterparks use LOTS of fresh water and when its not available they make it probably with RO. This would but another huge strain on our already old BELCO infrastructure…Unless one of us comes up with a way for the park to use ocean water I think it’s a no go.

      4) Whos gonna work at the theme parks. We already have more jobs than Bermudians that are working aged can fill. More jobs means more people being imported to the rock…..


      • so true says:

        @ Allan G

        It seems that earlier posters have missed the ‘Water Park thread’ that ran a few months back. Maybe they should do a search for it , lest we rehash the entire topic which is not the basis of this thread.

        Otherwise I completely agree with what you have said . I really don’t know why so many people think a water park in Bermuda is either a great idea OR a moneymaker. It’s neither .

    • Meh says:

      Let the religious fanatics reject it all they want as long as they are made aware if gambling is rejected, then ALL gambling will be rejected. Like BINGO for example. No sense voting against something, then not have it apply to you.

  19. True Bermudian says:

    Cannabis should be put to referendum.

  20. Truth (Original) says:

    No one here is addressing the fact that wherever gaming has been introduced, crime has always gone up the area. That is a fact. Another fact is that a casino doesn’t always contribute to a local economy. I do think that the discussion needs to be had and Bermudaisn should decide on our way forward but I do find it interesting that those who are in favour of it are absolutely silent on the proven negative impact that gambling has on communities. An effect that will only be amplified by a place as small as ours.

    • Let's Think About This... says:

      I agree with you on this one. Yes, it might bring more visitors depending on who wants to come to Bermuda to gamble. But how it impacts our already struggling community is a major issue. Are those in favor able to show how this won’t cause havoc in Bermuda despite it happening everywhere else in the world? We’ve already had gun violence over private gambling. Can it be said that despite Bermuda’s present gun situation, this won’t magnify? There’s no way to guarantee it won’t go that route, but if there is a plan in place to head this off/minimize the effects, then bring it out for discussion.

  21. Kim Smith says:

    Why the turn-around. Weren’t the gambling machines unceremoniously yanked out of a couple of places not that long ago when it was suddenly outlawed? I will have a look at all the reasons for that being done… and weigh it against what is being said now.

    • Pastor Syl says:

      @ Kim Smith: Scuttlebutt has it that the gambling machines were yanked because they were wildly successful and the wrong people were getting rich. On the other down side, there were a fair number of persons who were losing their whole paychecks every payday

  22. dawn de toilet says:

    Before any gaming legislation is even put forward they need to do the cons first.For example-
    1) How many gambling addicts will this bring forth?
    2) How when the husband or wife has gambled away their salaries for the month who will pay their rent and feed their kids?
    3)Who will compensate Bermudians when there homes are broken into by those with gambling addictions who enter our homes illegally and steal our hard earned money and our possessions that they intend to sell for cash to feed their gambling addiction?
    4) Who will start up Gamblers anonomous once we see how many become addicted?
    5) Who will pay for treatment for these gamblers?
    6) Who will deal with any mafia types/gangs that run these casinos or become the straight mans silent partners?
    7) Who will these gamblers turn to when they get themselves into debt with a lending company that begins to harrass them for the money owed?
    8)Who will these gamblers be able to turn to when they have been threatened by the people who they owe the gambling debt to?
    8) Who will help all the young people who get addicted to gambling and turn to gangs lifestyle to support their habit?

    Get real…we dont need gambling – Anyone who is holding building space for a gambling casino needs to rethink things. Gambling is not going to help Bermuda or her economy – the Tourism Minister and our Premier need to have their eyes open – Legalized Gambling will only add a lot of other problems to our economy. We as Bermudians need to stand strong on this issue Bermudians against Gambling – We do not want gambling casinos in Bermuda!

    • Oh Noes says:

      Simple – don’t allow residents to gamble. They don’t allow Bahamians to gamble in their own casinos for the same reason. They don’t completely “support” gambling but realize that it is an necessary part of their tourism product.

      • Pastor Syl says:

        @ Oh Noes: Yeah, put THAT to a referendum and see how high it flies! It is my belief that at least half the people who are so gung ho for gambling on this island only want it so they don’t have to fly to Vegas for their fix.

  23. Terry says:

    It’s all about money Kim. Times are tough everywhere. When they blew up the old Holiday Inns, they should have dumped it in Town Cut. The old channel is still viable for drafts up to 20′ plus.

    Why would people pay $1400 for a couple to come here from the east coast to Gamble.

    Gaming is not the answer nor quick fix because it will takes years to establish and what happens in the interim.

    Can’t go back but along with many remember the good years even with their faults where Bermuda was a bussiling livelyhood for most. People interacted and things boomed.

    The biggest mistake was allowing IB into Bermuda. It did and does line the pockets of a few but where would I fit in. Only job I could there would be that of a janitor………

    There’s a big empty hole on a hill in St. George and the Towne is empty except for long term resdidents.

    A Billion in debt and people think that gambling will solve it.

    The first change Bermuda needs is it’s attitude because it’s gonna be a long time and desperate for many who have helped build Bermuda only to see it slip away by bad managment and fairytale promises.

    A great day to all.

    • Keepin It Real says:

      Terry – you say a lot of dumb ish on here. Sometimes quite entertaining, other times I cannot even follow it (I know you dance to the beat of your own drum). This one is a serious and proper comment…a good one too. I especially like the last “paragraph.”
      IMHO, I do not think tourists will come just to gamble but I do feel that it would be part of the whole tourism package. I think ONE of the worse things to come from casino’s would be the stereotypical bright lights and flashing signs. If we can limit those maybe Front St. (just as an example) could keep their old charm and not be a mini Vegas.

      • Oh Noes says:

        Who says they need to pay $1400 to stay here to gamble. Why not let them gamble off the cruise ships at night when they are in port? Walk off the cruise ship, up the road and into the casino. It WON’T solve our billion dollar debt – but it will help a hell of a lot.

        • Pastor Syl says:

          @ Oh Noes: do you really think that if gambling were allowed here, the cruise ships would simply leave Bermuda to get the gravy?!? NOT!! They would have their own gambling (those that don’t already)so they can keep the passengers (and their money) on board.

      • What is real other than your perception says:

        I agree wit Terry. especially paragraphps 4-5. I guess we are part of the old school now Tery.

    • Eastern says:

      I do not understand your comments. Please explain. Why would you dump the remenants of the Club Med hotel into the Town Cut?
      If you think that introducing IB into Bermuda was a big mistake, where do you think we would be today with the few tourists that we have? Please explain these comments of yours because I am having a hard time of making any sense of your entries in these blogs.

      • What is real other than your perception says:

        The IB product replaced the tourist product. If they didn’t come touriasm would have been fine…(maybe, non of can say with certainty) global recession has affected tourism world wide and it is and will continue to affect IB going forward. within the next 3 years yoi will see the hallowed IB vanish from these shores and will do whatever it takes to attract a visitor for sure.

        Banking collapse imminent…and that is what drives global economies.

  24. BombsAway says:

    Not sure how the casinos would work, so much greed on this island everybody would want a piece and if they don’t get it look out. I guess it all depends who is in charge. Maybe just start simple with a National Lottery with all the proceeds going to Government to help pay for education, roads, prison, etc.

  25. Triangle Drifter says:

    I spent 18 years on the frontline of tourism. My contacts with the visitor usually lasted 3-4 hours on a one on one basis. I got to know them well. It was not fleeting conversation as a waiter or taxi driver might have.

    The lack of gaming was not a big issue with most though enough would have liked it to be available to be worthwhile. They could not care less about cultural tourism. Sorry to burst the bubble of the proponents of cultural tourism. A waste of time. They would like to see much more local fare available in restaurants. Sorry but local entertainment is low on the priority list. Pub style entertainment was asked about more than anything else. Sun sand & water are the main attractions. One of the biggest attractions is what Bermuda does NOT have. American fast food. Another one that Bermuda shuns increasingly is the Britishness of the place.

    They really don’t ask for much.

    • Eastern says:

      @ Triangle Drifter
      As someone that has worked in the hotel industry from the 70s into the late 80s I totally agree with you and would go as far as to say that we need to do away with the department of tourism altogether and get the main players involved in running our tourism; like the hotels, guest houses, airlines, tour operators, entertainers, etc., etc.
      A tourism minister who “once waited tables in a hotel” just doesn’t cut it.

      • star man says:

        @Drifter & Eastern: I 100% agree with both of you.

  26. My two cents says:

    Gaming may or may not be a good idea, however the one thing that is certain is it won’t do anything for tourism over the next couple of years. It will simply make us more competitive when economy bounces back. Short term=nothing. Long term=possible good idea

  27. Shorty says:

    a) The OBA is right .. all such matters should be put to the public via referenda.

    b) Bermuda = Over developed , too much traffic , too much noise , too expensive , not safe , everyone in a hurry , bad attitudes a plenty (we want your money , but not you) no local entertainment , no/poor value for money .

    Will casinos make all of these things dissappear ? ?

  28. Takbir Sharrieff says:

    Congratulations Terry…..I applaud you for your clear thinking…..you see through the hype…..!

  29. stern says:

    Definately for a casino! Perhaps in the the area of front street. Open it to tourist only! It will boost the economy. There are a large amount of people that like to gamble and it is entertaining.I have asked tourist in friendly conversations and all of them said they would love a Casino in bermuda for that “SOMETHING EXTRA DO DO”. Their take on the subject was that it was a GREAT IDEA! Bermuda, the times have changed and if a casino is run correctly here there should be no problem! Get With The Program!

  30. Pastor Syl says:

    @ Terry and dawn de toilet: Good points both! Thank you

  31. Terry says:

    Takbir and Keeping it real I do appreciate your comments.

    Yes I do march to a drum beat of my own but thats just me.

    Why should I be like everyone else. Were all individuals with a common purpose of just trying to make it work.

    Good point Takbir. Seeing through the “hype” is one thing, reality is another.

    Regardless of background I reflect on all the labors of my family and all the rest that worked so many years to make Bermuda such a unique place for just relaxing and good service by dedicated individuals that made more money in tips than their wage. And thats why people came back.

    Turn that damn cell phone off, take a walk……..if they need you…it’s not that far….really.

    A great day too all.

    I shall return………….

  32. stern says:

    Correction: “SOMETHING EXTRA TO DO”

  33. Hmmmmm says:

    Amnesia is clearly the national disease. Does anyone realise that this U-turn by Patrice Minors comes 15 months after she and this current Premier killed the discussion on this issue in the House? What has changed in those months to persuade her to “put her personal feelings aside” ?! I am disgusted at her and this Premier for delaying this discussion by over a year to feed their petty internal politics. The whole rationale of the discussion on the Green Paper on Gaming was to start the discussion on what kind of gaming we should have in Bermuda.NOW that they realize that mature adults need to talk about things like this they want to hear the public’s views?! This is proof of just how lightweight and out of their depth this Administration is.When Paula Cox said :”not now but maybe later” for gaming did she really mean 15months later? At some stage these clowns need to ‘fess up and admit their part in the denigration of their own record and their own missteps because of their petty internal politics. This U-turn is indicative of just how unsuited and unready this team was to follow Dr. Brown. He was not perfect, far from it, but to do this and not even admit they were wrong to act out in the House last year is just low.

  34. Bermygirl says:

    Having recently visited Nassau on a cruise, I was very dissapointed with the island. Sure Atlantis was lovely from afar (I didn’t go there), looking at the island as a whole, I couldn’t help but appreciate our lovely island all the more. The infrastructure/roads were poor and there was trash EVERYWHERE I looked. Our lovely taxi driver took us to a beach and there was trash EVERYWHERE on the beach. I couldn’t believe it. This is what we are competing against and we can not do it???? But get behind the gates of the resorts and I am sure it is lovely and clean but not at all representative of life outside the gates. Is that what we want our island to become. I realize I didn’t get to see the whole island but what I did see made me shake my head. What in the hell is our toursim department doing that we cannot find a way to market Bermuda successfully!! Are you joking me? We have ALOT to offer! But it just seems like the dept works in a schizophenic manner and just throw darts with this strategy and that one hoping that something sticks and people come down. I am not against resorts and gaming and the like but we need to find our own way to adapt this model while at the same time keeping Bermuda unique. I know Bermuda is expensive but there has to be a target market out there that we can market Bermuda to successfully. Just open your eyes and see what we have to offer!!! The problem however is that revitalizing tourism have been between 2000 and 2007 when capital was available! How are we supposed to revamp tourism now when we are virtually bankrupt and the credit markets are not lending?? God help us all.

  35. glenn dufus says:

    wow, lots of comments, lots of thoughts…. has anyone ever thought about, or hired an outside consultant (grin) to study the real possibilities here ?
    Who thinks more tourist would come to Bermuda if there was / where casino(s) ? I think it will not really spike the amount of tourists, do you ? then secondly there needs to be a large law-making process regarding taxes on and from casinos, and government ways to control it, since Bermuda is so keen on its moneylaundering laws and regulations, these will be thrown down the drain once you let casino’s in, since everyone can claim that the 100k they won in the casino, by slowly bringing the cash in and the chips out.
    Here’s a new insight, let’s say we talk about one casino, for arguments sake. how big would this need to be ? AND WHERE WOULD YOU PUT IT ???? BERMUDA, IN CASE YOU DON’T REALISE IT, HAS ONLY VERY FEW ACRES LEFT TO BUILD !!!!!
    but of course, we need not worry where Bermudian children and their childrens children will live, by that time the island’s rents and cost of living will have risen so dramatically that they’ll flee the island anyway…

    • star man says:

      Allow the major hotels (and new hotels) to put in smaller Gaming Rooms. They don’t have to be full-fledged casinos, just elegant, conservative, low-key gaming rooms with a few slot machines to compliment the betting games. Allow them initially in Tuckers Point, the 2 Fairmonts, and Elbow Beach. Start small and see how it goes, then if it works out, bring more hotels on stream. Gradually grow it. And, of course tax it heavily but fairly. Furthermore, I would allow everyone to gamble, as long as they had on a jacket & tie. You cannot stop Bermudians from gambling, we are not the Bahamas!

    • Pastor Syl says:

      @ glen dufus: In 1969, Hakim Gordon (Dr. Gordon’s son and an anthropologist) stated that the direction in which Bermuda was heading would lead us to a point where the island was no longer a place where Bermudians would feel or be welcome, that our population was small enough, we could all be shipped out and dropped in any big city Stateside and be swallowed up. The way things are going, they won’t need to ship us out. We are abandoning ship as fast as we can.

  36. RobbieM says:

    @ Bermygirl, what you say is so true! We have a beautiful Island compared with some down south. When we had the funds, the previous Tourism Minister spent the money on other things instead of trying to revitalize tourism in our core North American markets. Instead, he was off on jaunts all over the world! GlobalHue was awarded a $13 million three-year contract in 2006 and a $28 million two-year contract in 2009. What did we get for these massive sums? Not much. Air arrivals fell to the lowest levels in the last forty years and Bermuda disappeared as a destination in key magazines and newspapers. Our standards declined and our product suffered. This present Government needs to take ownership of this decline in our air arrival visitors (the ones who spend the money locally vs. cruisers who don’t) and try to turn this industry around. Even though it only contributes at the most 8% to our GDP, it is worth growing and revitalizing, as it could again contribute substantially to our Island ecanomy. Why has a tourism plan not been in place since 2000? Why does it take over a year at a cost of over 1 million dollars to put a plan in place. Then it will take a further year or more to act on this plan! What a travesty!

  37. navin Johnson says:

    forget the consultants….just let the hotels have gambling as a way to offset the high costs necessary to run the hotel…otherwise just admit defeat and forget tourism….leaving it to the hotel it takes it out of the hands of Politicians(good luck with that) and their grubby little hands….there is no other way for Hotels to get financing(Park Hyatt will never get the money)…Politicians and Preachers keep them out of it and it may have a shot otherwise forget it….looking for ways to boost employment? try a casino…..and only locals can be hired and trained…

  38. mingling says:

    I don’t think having a gambling facility open ONLY to tourists is the way.. Tourist love to interact with locals. I’m asked almost daily, “where do the locals hang out, eat, relax”??
    There is already gambling on the Island. Like previously stated you have Queen street, church bingo’s, even cup match boasts 2 days of gambling.
    How is this legal when holding poker games in your own home get raided by police.
    Can someone explain….

    What’s the big deal anyway?? Those who gamble will. Those who don’t gamble won’t.

    Attention church folk…. No one is going to force you to patronize a casino.
    No casino boss is going to come knocking on your door asking for your time and leaving pamphlets behind…..

    • Tread Lightly says:

      I love that last line there bud! Classic!

    • The 411 says:

      the ones looking for locals are the ones looking for weed or sex…

      The supposedly wealthy clients that we want to attract prefer gated communities and all call their help by the same name. Hell – our long term guests (workers) dont even want their kids to get on the same buses with the locals!

      Travel more and you will see this time and time again in all the destinations that we want to compare ourselves too. Dont’ flatter yourself that the man with the annual household income of more than 500k wants to have a beer with you! He doesn’t.

  39. In Mark's opinion says:

    We need new Hotels , my vote is a casino for any hotel with 300 or more rooms .

  40. navin Johnson says:

    churches are upset because they think gaming would cut down on collections….not as many fancy suits and resplendent vestments…can I get an amen…