Government: No Change In Position On Gaming

August 12, 2013

[Updated] Following speculation about Government’s position on gaming, a Government spokesperson said there is “no change to the government’s position on Gaming. As promised, we remain committed to the Referendum process.”

Last week the Chamber of Commerce said they support some form of gaming in Bermuda but are not in favour of a referendum citing concerns on how questions may be phrased, as well as concerns about cost and resources needed.

Last month Tourism & Transport Minister Shawn Crockwell said: “Many of the developers that are coming to us right now, are coming to us with that condition of having the capacity to have a casino on their property. People are looking for a guaranteed return on investment.”

“I am very confident that once we resolve that issue, and if we resolve that issue where casino gaming is allowed in Bermuda I believe that we are going to see some developments starting next year.”

In May 2013, Minister Crockwell said the Government expect to hold a referendum at the end of summer or beginning of fall.

A PLP spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party remains open to discussion on all issues relating to the people of Bermuda. We are concerned at the OBA’s recurring habit of promising one thing and doing another and are particularly concerned that there appears to be a lack of faith in Bermudians and in the democratic process they championed. Regardless, the decision on how we as a people will move forward on gaming requires deep analysis, careful consideration and operating in the best interest of all and not special interests and a select few.

“Questions such as to locations [stand-alone or hotels], ownership, locals/resident participation, and “responsible gambling” policies as a potential safeguard to society, are some of the issues that will have to be addressed in an open and transparent manner within any proposed legislation and the public domain. Let us measure twice and cut once to ensure this is done correctly and in the best interest of Bermudians.”

The debate about gambling in Bermuda has been ongoing for years, with those in favour citing the potential benefits to tourism, while opponents have expressed concerns about possible social ramifications.

Update 1.58pm: Shadow Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert said: “The OBA’s indecision and inaction on gaming have raised many questions about their motives and intentions. After months of mixed messages and poor communication to the people, it appears that the OBA has finally reached a decision.

“The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party believes that the decision on whether Bermuda will introduce gaming requires education, dialogue and a view towards a plan that benefits all Bermudians and not just a select few. We look forward to the discussion and Bermudians deciding this matter via referendum.”

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Comments (44)

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  1. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    A referendum is NOT needed,just pass the Bill and lets get people employed on the MANY different jobs that will be created from building and on to the various departments to run a Casino.

    • Deliverance says:


      • Lebron says:

        Me too. Please let’s get on with this Craig. You are the Premier, please act.

    • Portia says:

      Actually, the jury is still out on that one. There is no conclusive evidence on HOW MANY jobs will be created – and certainly no guarantees that those jobs will be given to Bermudians.

      Certainly, the specialist jobs (casino manager, croupier) will not be held by Bermudians, because we have no trained or experienced Bermudians for those positions. And judging by current trends, the porters, waitresses, etc will likely be held by non-Bermudians as well. Most working parents cannot make those hours, and most Bermudians cannot live on what those positions pay.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Croupier training is a 5 week course. There’s absolutely no reason that these jobs can’t be held by Bermudians.

        • Portia says:

          Not so. Some are longer than 5 weeks, it depends on the school you sign up for. I have seen some with 10 week courses. But does that make a person fully qualified? In any case, if a casino is hiring, they have a right to request that a employee have a certain amount of work experience, which again, excludes most Bermudian applicants. This is definitely true for managerial positions – no newcomer is going to get that job.

          • Lebron says:

            Portia, you really do talk some crap. Like you know. Stop bleating on about stuff, you have no idea how long a croupier course takes.

      • frank says:

        there is a guy back of town that is trying to set up training for casino workers

    • Mazumbo says:

      Where does Democracy come in. LMAO

  2. Will says:

    we need a secular government that isn’t persuaded by religion…many of Bermuda’s problems can be solved with that system in place.

  3. swing voter says:

    C’mon Cannonier you preached separation of church & state half yur life so there should be no conflict for you…just get it done as most voters have verbally supported this initiative already….why waist time and money on a referandum

  4. watching says:

    this is a government that does not lead from the front. Do they want gaming or not? that answer has not been given. Will Premier Cannonier take a position on anything?

  5. Jus' Askin' says:

    Wasting Time and Money !!!!!
    Thought we were getting “CHANGE”
    Same ol’ BS ;-)

    • Double Standards says:

      And if they did push it through, I imagine you would be screaming how they don’t keep their election promises;)

      • Jus' Askin' says:

        Promises keep Fools content.
        Imagine what those that believe in election promises are called ;-)
        OBA IS A JOKE!!!!!

        • E$ says:

          PLP IS A JOKE!!!!! Look what happened to their election promises. ya neeexxxttt!!

  6. Kim Smith says:

    There is SO much more to the concerns around gambling than religion. Please stop touting religion as the only reason that people are not supportive of gambling.

  7. media says:

    The big problem is if Gaming is voted down in the Referendum, all those potential hotel investors will take their proposals, money and jobs somewhere else.

    • Portia says:

      I doubt that. Not with the huge tax concessions Government is giving out these days (i.e. Pink Beach and Hamilton Princess).

    • justsayin says:

      Yup, and the Titanic keeps sinking….

  8. Young Bermudian. says:

    I’m sorry, but addiction and money laundering are not religious issues. We can’t keep our own palimentarians from being corrupt. Until we have anti-corrupt laws and the resources to put a dent in the current addictions (sex, alcohol, drugs) that Bermuda is sweeping under the rug, we are not in a position to add another issue. We are selling ourselves short all for the sake of a dollar. Posters like Nuffin but da Truth have never been in family court, in a classroom or eaten at a kitchen table that is also the dining table, office and homework station.

    Until people like Nuffin, understand the paradigm of the socially economically challenged they will keep suggesting ideas like gambling that get the rich, richer and the poor poorer. The problem is that today’s Bermuda cant deal with that sort of divide and it will contribute to community unrest. Bermuda is so small that if we leave these unchecked and add things like gambling, it is only a matter of time till they will impact the rich class folks too.

    • Someone says:

      the best place to learn about corruption and being corrupt is Church

  9. Navin R. Johnson says:

    Just do it

  10. SoMuchMore says:

    the time is now, not 20 years from now. lets just get it done.

    for starts lets allow the cruises to open their casinos, if not Norwegian and Royal might pull out just like Holland did.

  11. watching says:

    So if the OBA and the PLP support a referendum, why can’t Premier Cannonier set the date for this decision? Why are they stalling?
    The PLP had passed the referendum legislation prior to the election. The OBA have had 8 months to set the stage for this and have yet to do so.

  12. Terry says:

    The UBP are still in control.
    Business owners.
    Corporate heads.

    Shortest reign coming soon.

    • Sorry Sir says:


    • frank says:

      a referendum is waste of time important change is made by acts passed in the house if a referendum fails kiss future development goodbye simple
      st.kitts Barbados and Bahamas all have new hotels because they have casinos by the way park hyatt is building a hotel in st. kitts
      the government will make money and more people will be employed
      we need to get rid of this trainee premier and find someone that can leed from the front if we don’t embrace change Bermuda will become a ghost island

  13. Sorry Sir says:

    I don’t see what the big deal on gaming is. In the information age, anybody can go the internet to gamble.

  14. William says:

    My question is how long does it take to place a date on a referendum? Premier you have been leader for 9 months. What’s taking so long? Get on with it. I wish John Swan was the Premier he has vision for Bermuda.

    Could someone in the OBA higher up please pull the string that tells the puppet what to do next. He’s a nice man, but not a good leader for Bermuda. Just to think I voted for change : (

    When Nino Brown was there I voted for a gangster. December 17th I voted for Captain Kangaroo aka Craig Can Not. What’s next a farmer who sells milk to PLP sheep…………..

    • SoMuchMore says:

      the man is a photo-op premier. he has no ministry and still can’t lead the island in the right direction.

      dec 17 i was happy to see a difference in gov but this puppet is the Pittts.

      cannioner’s motto should be, does nothing and knows nothing.

  15. Bob says:

    Referendum = no gaming!

  16. A. Little says:

    Politicians win gold medals in the Natty Best Island Political Games.

    Mr. Speaker, please allow me the opportunity to present some well deserved gold medals to the following politicians.

    Dale B. wins gold for unwavering loyalty in the face of immense adversity.

    Randy H. wins gold for overstepping party boundaries and ‘finishing well’.

    Wayne F. wins gold for the slippery flip flop manoeuvre.

    Marc B. wins gold for huffing and puffing distracting rhetoric.

    Craig C. wins gold for hopeful dreams and visions of future prosperity.

    Mark P. wins gold for airing dirty laundry.

    Michael D. wins gold for hyping up some criminal statistics.

    Pamela G-P.wins gold for valiant first aid attempts at the hospital.

    Mr. Speaker, ifinit weren’t such a vexxing reesasshun, we would have more gold to hand out…..oh vell, maybe nex yuur.

    Patience, peace and love and unity,we all in this together.

  17. Kangoocar says:

    I am starting to think that our Prem, sits when he does #1, I am getting totally dissallusioned with all politicians now, we need strong leadership and we need it now!!! Bermuda is going to sink and thankfully I have an escape but I feel for those that don’t!!!!

  18. media says:

    David Sullivan was on Magic with Sherri yesterday and his guess was that Gaming will be passed in the House come September and then a Referendum will be held on a question regarding Gaming to the people. I think that question might be whether Bermudians should be allowed gamble or not. This is all conjecture. As Crockwell has stated, all will be revealed in the House when they reconvene in September, which his unusually early.

  19. social justice says:

    calling all weed smokers to vote no to gambling referendum until referendum on full marijuana legalization is held first. the big dealers need gambling to launder the money. u feel me? make the politically rich put summink innit for you