PLP Leader: “Government Silent On Gaming”

May 16, 2013

[Updated with video + statement] Five months into the One Bermuda Alliance’s term “we have seen no movement” on a gaming referendum, and the “Government is silent on this important issue,” Opposition Leader Marc Bean said this morning [May 16].

“We have heard much talk about human rights, municipality reform and SAGE – but nothing on this campaign promise,” continued Mr Bean. “Gaming will represent a tremendous shift in our tourism business model and brings with it numerous challenges and opportunities.”

“Whether we go forward with this, or decide that it isn’t a good fit for Bermuda, it should not be decided by backroom deals or political maneuvers, it should be decided by the people of Bermuda.”

“The PLP supports a referendum,” said Mr Bean, who also said that “moral questions” should always be put to the people.

“Let’s face it, we have the Breakaway that has just arrived in Bermuda with 3,500 people, combined with an extra 1,500 – 2,000 passengers on another cruise ship, and this is an exciting time for Bermuda, especially when it’s obvious we are in an economic downturn. Every opportunity to create, or spur, economic opportunities is being delivered via the Breakaway and our cruise lines passengers.”

“Now the question that is going to be asked, with 5,000 people visiting Bermuda, what is it truly there for them to do? Gaming has been identified as one of the amenities which can be provided to our guests.”

“Because we have to understand, it’s one thing to have 5,000 visitors come to the country, but they are of no value if they do not spend their money..”

“Unfortunately even though over successive Governments and successive re-branding exercises, unfortunately the brand that Bermuda offers today many would consider it to be boredom…” continued Mr Bean.

“Collectively I think Bermudians need to move away from what I consider to be conservative, or hypocritical conservatism…in the sense that we expect guests to conform to this rigid standard….”

“We need to move past what I consider a stiff necked attitude towards tourism. We are in the business of providing customer service, so the customer comes first. So the question has to be asked, what do these visitors want?”

Update 6.06pm: Mr Bean’s full remarks are below.

The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party believes that the issue of gaming must not only be moved forward immediately, but that the people, not the politicians should decide.

Last year in Parliament, the PLP passed the “Referendum Act” which laid the foundation for important questions to be placed before the people of this country.

On November 2, 2102, the Progressive Labour Party tabled a bill in parliament to give the people that very right, allowing for a referendum on whether or not there should be Casino Gaming in Bermuda.

Parliament was dissolved before we got to debate the bill; however we were confident that given both the OBA and PLP election platforms committed to holding a referendum on the issue that we would have moved forward with the sense of urgency that this matter requires.

Before the election the OBA said, “We will promote business development by: holding a referendum on casino gambling forthwith.”

However, now a full 5 months into the OBA’s term, we have seen no movement and the government is silent on this important issue. We’ve heard much talk about human rights, municipality reform, and SAGE, but nothing on this campaign promise.

Gaming will represent a tremendous shift in our tourism business model and brings with it numerous challenges and opportunities. Whether we go forward with this or decide that it isn’t a good fit for Bermuda, should not be determined by back room deals or political maneuvering….it should be decided by the people of Bermuda

Before the election, Both Parties appeared to agree that on an issue of this magnitude, democracy works best, when the people have the opportunity to have their say. For that reason, we are mystified as to why the OBA continues to drag their feet on allowing the people’s voice to be heard. The PLP supports a referendum, the machinery is in place to have a referendum, the premier said the money is in the budget for a referendum, and the Gaming Referenda Act has already been written.

I was so frustrated by the lack of movement on this issue that in March, the PLP attempted to table the referendum bill, however it was not allowed under house rules. I am happy to share the bill with the Premier so that he can fulfill his party’s campaign promise.

The public through the Green Paper on Gaming produced back in 2010 has been informed of the potential benefits to our economy and opponents of gaming have had the opportunity to inform the community of their concerns. Voters will have ample time to discuss and debate the issue so that we can arrive at an informed decision. There is no reason to delay progress on this issue.

The PLP’s position is clear, the people’s voices must be heard. Premier Cannonier, I call on you to let the people have their say. Table the referendum bill tomorrow and let’s move on with the people’s business.

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  1. Government To Table Gaming Referendum Act | | November 30, 2013
  1. jt says:

    One improvement and one mended crisis at a time Mr. Bean. Have patience and faith brother.

    • longtail says:

      Agreed…. have a little patience Mr Bean!! It will take time for the new Government to address all the failings and inaction of the previous Government.

      • Seriously.... says:

        Patience, you can’t be serious. We just got downgraded today. Patience?

        You people are fully deluded.

        • jOe says:

          no matter what the OBA did we would have gotten downgraded. thank your qlq losers for this one…

          • TellME says:

            We need gaming and cannabis needs to be decriminalized for personal use.

            OBA we need change and WHERE THE F$WK are these 2000 jobs at???

        • jt says:

          That statement is as ignorant as Burt’s press release – adn what does gaming have to do with the downgrade?

    • Deliverance says:

      he just wants to get his name in the paper is all. the oba is taking up all the political juice with the breakaway and pier so he just wants to make noise.

    • invest in Bda says:

      One major improvement was the removal the PLP. That was crisis one dealt with, give them some time. Rome was not built in a day.

  2. Seriously.... says:

    OBA – Just have the damned referendum already. WTF is the holdup!

    • frank says:

      well that big ship can not sit at dock for 3days with the casino closed if so it won’t be back next season

      • stuck in the past says:

        in most ports casinos on boats are closed,

  3. Toodle-oo says:

    err , Weren’t YOU guys the ones who were actually sort of quiet on it ? Other than make an ammendment to the voting act to be able to include it on the ballot in a general election which you then did not utilise .

    Your main support base , the AME church is not for it so is this just politicing again ?

  4. Family Man says:

    Its all about priorities Bean. Reducing discrimination, investigating and eliminating future opportunities for corruption, improving government efficiency. All of these are more important than a referendum on whether or not a little rock in the middle of the ocean with 60,000 struggling inhabitants can support a casino.

    What were your party’s priorities for the last 14 years? Me,me, me, party, party, party. That didn’t work out so well for those of us not on the F&F plan.

    • Seriously.... says:

      What bigger issue is there than the economy. Are you all so blinded by hate that you can’t see the forest from the trees?

  5. HeyBye says:

    These guys had 14 years to address,these very issues.
    They are literary in no position,to talk now.
    Their job as opposition,has no credability and worth.

  6. 1minute says:

    “Government is silent on this important issue,”

    Gambling is not an important issue. Let them fix the really important things, then they can look at gambling.

    If the PLP supported it so much, why didn’t they have a referendum?

  7. San George says:

    We already have casinos – figure it out. That is why you are not the government anymore.

  8. Teapot says:

    Don’t you guys get it? Go away – far – far – away! When will you learn? Empty vessell go away? By the way job harder than you think? Looking mighty unhealthy thin to me! Or is it because your lihter has way too much fuel? Flick! Flick! Flick! Arm should be extra thin. Nonetheless just go. Go away. Far far Faaar away. Please.

  9. oblivious says:

    this press release certainly diverts attention from the Moody’s downgrade… good strategy or just don’t twig on anything about rating agencies?

    • Seriously.... says:

      Seeing this press conference was before the ratings downgrade, your point is?

  10. NO VALUE?! says:


    How dare you say: “Because we have to understand, it’s one thing to have 5,000 visitors come to the country, but they are of no value if they do not spend their money.”

    Yes we would appreciate them to spend their money here; but if they choose not to…SO WHAT. THEY ARE PAYING FEES TO BE IN BERMUDA REGARDLESS THE AMOUNT.


    The VALUE should be in restaurant service and beach service; appreciating the island for what it is. NOT SOME RIPOFF OF VEGAS!

    Bunch of IDI*TS .

    • says:

      Gambling isn’t the holy savior. It would be one component of the entire transformation that needs to take place. Our conservative views need to end. Bermuda needs to innovate and and offer a new tourist product and compete with other jurisdictions. Only until then will we see our tourist numbers rise to the numbers we had back in the 80′s and 90s. Gambling is only one component and when it is introduced I’m sure there will be licenses and regulations. The island needs a restructure and this has to start at the top.

      The OBA made pages upon pages of promises but it seems the island has been in standstill since they took office. It would seem logically that they don’t really know what to do hence the standstill.

      • JMad says:

        I wouldn’t say they are a standstill.

        They have initiated and/or implemented many of their campaign pledges. Not all can be achieved within 5 months.

  11. Victor says:

    My understanding was that Dr. Ewart Brown had the future of gaming in Bermuda all sorted out – has some changed in the meantime Beano?

  12. pickle juice says:

    ay bah…bring in some gamin! im good at dem slot machines!

  13. It only hurts when I breathe................. says:

    Mr. Bean, you and your PLP cohorts truely need to hit the road.

  14. Dont worry about gaming anytime soon,they have to factor in having a red light district and all the trimmings that go with it first,so they can have evrything on the table at once and they will sneak it in the back door when they deal with the Gay community and their bill.

    That big building down de road pass the superat and de licker store,before you get to de horse spittal is suppose to have space in it for dat.

    • jay says:

      You can have gambling without having a red light district. Where did you get this information from? There are tons of other jurisdictions that have full casinos without a red light district. Your thought process is that of a small minded Bermudian. Let your mind think beyond 21sq miles.

  15. It only hurts when I breathe................. says:

    Mr. Bean, you and your PLP cohorts truely need to hit the road Jack and don’t cha come back no more, no more! NO ONE CARES what you or the PLP think. The PLP had FOURTEEN YEARS to put this in place, and LIKE SO MUCH ELSE, you did not. Why Not??! Because you were too busy sticking your collective heads in the food trough of the people’s money and taking care of F&F and so obviously cared for little or anyone else. You ruined Bermuda, you destroyed our livlihood, your hatred and bad governance made thousands of workers leave our shores taking their valuable economy with them; you created unemployment and put MANY, MANY Bermudians out of work and were the worse government in this Island’s history, creating very deep and long lasting problems for us to clean up.

    The PLP have NO CREDIBILITY WHATSOEVER and should just shut up and go away – ALL OF YOU. After fournteen long and tiresome years WHEN YOU COULD HAVE DONE SO MUCH GOOD YET YOU DID SO MUCH BAD; most people in Bermuda do not want to see you, we do not want to hear you and we most certainly do not want to feel your vile presence in our daily lives. You are soooo yesteryear and sooo irrelevant and so toxic to Bermuda’s health and wellbeing.

    • Seriously.... says:

      You seem a bid deluded. Did you take your meds today?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Take a deep breath & come back & tell us how you really feel.

  16. Everyday Reader says:

    Keep up the good work Marc Bean – I can’t wait until the PLP is back power. It will happen I really believe so! As for all of you haters out there – get a damn LIFE!!

  17. Everyday Reader says:

    HATERS, HATERS, HATERS – That’s what is WRONG with Bermudians – always trying to BLAME the other party. SMH – I love reading Bernews to see how you all criticise each other on a daily basis on every subject. You’ll doomed to sink if it contiues. LMAO!!!!

  18. O'Brien says:

    Can we stop referring to it as ‘gaming’ and call it what it is: gambling?

    Will tourists come here to gamble when there is already an abundance of choice closer to home (Atlantic City, Foxwoods etc.)? No doubt somebody stands to make alot of money off the introduction of gambling here — but will Bermuda as a whole profit?

    Go to any casino in N. America and you will see, in addition to tourists, locals sat for hours in front of the slot machines frittering away their every last penny. Do we need that in Bermuda? Is this issue really as urgent as Mr Bean seems to think? Let us think carefully now.

  19. ohyea! says:

    gambling is not important legalizing the weed should be number one on our priorities right!

  20. Triangle Drifter says:

    The PLP hummed & hawed, shuffled the gaming issue back & forth for 14 years. The UBP dragged their feet on it before them. Everyone was affraid of the self righteous bible thumpers, who of course have their bingo.

    Meanwhile state after state has been legalising gaming. There is no need to go to Atlantic City, Norwich CT, Las Vegas or the few other gaming states anymore. Casinos are getting as common as Walmart across the country.

    Yes Bermuda is long long past when gaming should have been legalized but it has no priority now.

  21. Lets Hope says:

    If you all remember the PLP took the gaming machines out of the bars.

    • Victor says:

      What fine Christians they were for doing that or did ‘He Who Must Not Be Mentioned’ not get his cut? Beano, fess up.

  22. swing voter says:

    Heck I gamble every weekend thru the entire football season. Placing an 8 quid bet online or on queen street for a chance to win 30K is worth risking what amounts to lunch change. It not expensive, I’m not addicted, and still have $$$$$ to pay my bills. So wats the big deal Bermuda, we all don’t go to church you know!

  23. Spittal pond skink says:

    Back room Politics and referendums… I’m sorry remind me again, how did the Uighurs end up here??

  24. Ringmaster says:

    It would appear that Mr. Bean is merely being the mouthpiece, surrogate and puppet of Ewart Brown, who made no secret of his desire to have gambling in private hands, namely his. The underhanded attempt to get gambling through the House is well remembered. Mr Bean’s reference to the visitors on the cruise ships wanting gambling is farcical. Doesn’t he know the ships have on board casinos? No wonder Bermuda will be suffering from the 14 years of PLP Governance for many, many years to come. They didn’t, and don’t, have a clue how the economy works.

  25. Jim Bean says:

    Mark – you are a loser. Your party is a loser. Go away.

  26. Building a better Bermuda says:

    I love how he called on the churches to stay out of the gaming debate, but didn’t tell the to stay out of the equal rights debate. Tells you what he jinks about equal rights.