BHA Support Govt’s Decision On Gambling Vote

December 17, 2013

gambling-cards genericCEO of the Bermuda Hotel Association [BHA] John Harvey said they support the Government’s recent decision to have Parliament decide on gaming, saying they believe that “gaming will have a positive impact.”

On Friday [Dec 13] Premier Craig Cannonier announced that instead of holding a referendum on gambling, the matter will be decided by a vote in Parliament.

The decision resulted in a wide range of reactions, with many praising the Premier for making a bold move while others questioned the decision to not follow through on their campaign pledge.  A referendum was predicted to cost around $500,000.

With the OBA having the majority of votes in Parliament, they are technically capable of passing the legislation without any support from the Opposition.

In addition, several Opposition MPs are known to be in favour of allowing gaming, so the legislation is seen as having a good chance to to pass in Parliament.

Mr Harvey said the BHA “supports the position recently taken by the Government to cause the determination as to whether or not Bermuda will have gaming, to be decided in Parliament.”

“The BHA believes that gaming will have a positive impact on current hotel performance and will persuade new hotel developers that our island home is becoming more competitive.

“Accordingly, I implore all members of Parliament to support the implementation of gaming in Bermuda, so that this significant ‘Game Changer’ will soon become a reality,” added Mr Harvey.

The Premier’s Q&A after he announced the decision on the referendum on Friday:

The BHA has long been on record as supporting gaming, and back in 2010 Mr Harvey cited a specific example of lost revenue due to our restrictions on gaming.

He said a company that was seriously considering one of Bermuda’s major hotels for its group meeting, selected to go the Bahamas instead as that location offers gaming and Bermuda does not.

“The lost business, conservatively estimated at $200,000, is a blow to Bermuda’s economy and hotel revenues,” said Mr Harvey at the time.

Like the BHA, veteran entertainer Tony Brannon and Bermuda Chamber of Commerce President Ronnie Viera are also on record as supporting the Government’s decision as it pertains to bypassing the referendum.

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Comments (51)

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  1. And...... says:

    And kids support toys at Chistmas!

    I was expecting the BHA to reject gaming (sarcasm)

    • Hmmm says:

      Sounds like the people who know the Bermuda tourism product the best think it is a good idea.

      • Mazumbo says:

        That’s like asking the fox does he mind guarding the hen house.
        But the principle of the matter was how it was done instead of Mark Pattingale blaming the Sherrie J show. SMH

        • Mazumbo says:

          Sounds like de Jetgate deal is in full swing.

          • Mike Hind says:

            No. It doesn’t sound like that at all. You’re just slinging mud and hoping it will stick. Again.

        • Hmmm says:

          There is no hen house, it doesn’t even exist.

          Try another one.

          • somuchless says:

            De PLP gave away all the hens to their friends and family.

        • Mike Hind says:

          No, it looks like people with an expertise and experience and an interest in making Bermuda a more attractive product are saying that this is a good thing.

          What are your qualifications again?

  2. more than enough says:

    can anyone tell me how(categorically)a referendum can possibly cost $500,000?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Two words: Civil Servants.

      • JustAskin2 says:

        The whole of the civil service would not have to work on the referendum would they? So for the people were to work on it, how much are they being paid?

    • Hmmm says:

      Hiring people to be at polling stations, Legal reviews and drafting of documentation. Advertising costs, TV and print, literature printing, flyers. The opportunity cost of the work that would otherwise be done by civil service. Overtime, Politicians opportunity cost of spending time having a positive impact on Bermuda’s situation. I would estimate from those initial thoughts the real Project cost of a referendum was much higher than this 500,000.00 number.

      • JustAskin2 says:

        Hmm… makes sense; Bermuda’s prices have to be extremely high to to come up with such a high cost.

    • realest says:

      @more than enough

      I have been wondering the exact same thing!

  3. swing voter says:

    I agree @ And…..kinda redundant don’t you think?

  4. watching says:

    LOL! like the BHA would be against gaming.

    Perhaps the better question would be does the BHA approve of the way in which the decision has been made?

    • Hmmm says:

      (from the article)

      Mr Harvey said the BHA “supports the position recently taken by the Government to cause the determination as to whether or not Bermuda will have gaming, to be decided in Parliament.”

      Sounds pretty clear to me.

  5. Kangoocar says:

    Well there you have it folks!! One would find it hard to argue with Mr. Harvey when you consider the position he holds, I would think he would know what is GOOD for the hotel industry which translates into being good for all of us!

  6. more than enough says:

    i find it funny how successful you can b in a failing industry…

    • Hmmm says:

      So you think this is all a joke. Get a grip.

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      That’s what I was thinking. These same bloggers are quick to criticize our hotels high prices, low level services, and outdated product. Sick people

  7. more than enough says:

    just like politics

  8. swing voter says:

    after decades of leading the Caribbean tourist market to becoming the laughing stock of the industry, 2014 will see a new project breaking ground….the first in 40 years….welcome to the global tourism market!

    • Tommy Chong says:

      How is it new & ground breaking when the caribbean have been doing it for decades. We are Johnny come lately grasping at short straws while the long ones are already taking. We’ve become the laughing stock because our proclamation of being the safest, cleanest & most luxurious island destination has tarnished but instead of putting the effort in to remedy this we’ve put our eggs in one basket that has never proved successful in the areas its been tried & tested in.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Don’t get your hopes up for any purpose built casino anytime soon. Look for some large room conversions first.

      Bermudians seem to have the Vegas, Atlantic City or Foxwoods style casino in mind. The fact is there are many casinos which are far smaller. Drive through towns like Missoula, Montana & it seems as if there is a casino on every corner of the main drag through town. There are bar/casinos, motel/casino even liquor store/casinos. Nothing like Vegas at all

  9. Starting point says:

    As it seems that the casino issue will be approved, regardless of how backwards or forwards you think the decision process was we really need to see how we are going to maximize this opportunity. We are going to be late to the Gaming show but that does not mean we can not create a buzz around our casino industry….Instead of constantly complaining about everything and thus doing nothing lets put out the ideas to move forward:

    High end poker games – on the beach or in a spa

    Casino’s built into our unique architecture – I.e. a block that on the outside looks like front street but all interiors are connected into a casino – convention centre

    Massive support around crown and anchor as the official game of choice in Bermuda – a branding opportunity

    Mobile casinos – unique pop up events with approved licensing in unique locations – even available for private parties, weddings etc.

    Revenue sharing from gambling to support Sport, community development

    Despite negative predictions, I think we should have gaming at all levels from grass roots to high end. I liken it to the gombeys, these are not a Broadway show but I bet most tourists would enjoy them more in the context of the Bermuda experience. Thus locations where tourists can play crown and anchor or be with the locals to bet on sporting events etc.

    If a wide open spectrum on gambling is to concerning from a community aspect then perhaps legislation that allows registered charities in good standing to use gaming to raise money. I.e. Big Brothers could run a gaming event, or a sports pool with entry fees going to the winner and a share to the charity etc. This is a funding market that has never been available to charities and would be an incredible boost as well as a positive outcome of gaming.

  10. JustAskin2 says:

    So I guess referendums are out for other major decisions as well, because it costs so much to have one?

    • Hmmm says:

      In the immediate future, I would say so.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      No, decisions needing a public vote can always be put on the ballot during a general election, just like elsewhere. What is the problem with that?

  11. Silence Do Good says:

    Gaming will be a short bubble for Bermuda with long lasting undesirable effect. e.g. Hotel construction boom from investors only to fail and close a few short years later because no one want to pay $300.00 a night to come to Bermuda to gamble. What Bermuda needs is a new industry. e.g. Legalize marijuana for medical research and trade. We can go back to using lands for crops instead of paving over them only to look at empty buildings in the near future. Bermuda Indica for CBD’s medical, Bermuda Hemp for textiles and Bermuda Sativa for taxes and tourism. Now that is a sustainable future that Bermudian’s can benefit from on all fronts instead of the whole sale of land for another failed tourism development/products.

    • Mike Hind says:

      A) I disagree. I think that the investment in Bermuda will help us revitalize and upgrade our tourism product across the board, making it ok again to work in the up industry after many years of “service is servitude”. We used to be really good at this. We can be again.

      B) why can’t we do both? I’m with you on marijuana. If done right, it’d be an amazing boon for us.

    • Hmmm says:

      OK let us say we do what you suggest…then one of the islands copies it, but does it on a much larger scale (bigger island) and much much cheaper than we could do. Then what?????

      • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

        It won’t matter because we would be the First Island to Legalize, a Leader…anything after us is just a follower,a copy-cat as you called it,all we have to do is produce Quality products but have, not educated people running the show BUT intelligent people…people who are fully versed in how to push a product,someone who could sell sand to the Arabs. Mind you …we have to provide a service that is second to none…we need to entice all of Bermudas Elite Gentlemen to show some heart for their Country and its inhabitants,and to invest like they have NEVER invested before…Bermuda must Rule, I wanna see Billionaires here in their Billion dollar Yachts and Jets…lets leave Monte Carlo scratching their heads as to why their Ports are empty….lol… So instead of having our Elite always flying World wide…we have the whole World flying to our shores to leave their money. Honestly though …i don’t think we have the Meat to get this BBQ Burnin’ …prove me wrong Bermy…please.

  12. Terry says:

    Only two States don’t have casino’s ; Utah and Virginia.
    They want to open one in Portsmouth Va.
    Statistics show it will suck em dry.
    Do the research.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      And if the Richmond/Norfolk/Hampton people want to gamble they need to go no further than Roanoke Rapids, NC just over the line at Carolina Crossroads.

      No matter where you are gaming is never far. Lots of competition for Bermuda.

      • Terry says:

        Dover Downs in Maryland is closer….and all the rest.

        • Triangle Drifter says:

          Last time I was in Dover, in the Dover Mall carpark looking at the Dover Downs I think I was in Delaware. Could be wrong, but I’ve done the trip many times up & down rt 13 & across the CBBT.

          You might check the distance to Roanoke Rapids from the Norfolk area. Spent a week recently within walking distance of the Carolina Crossroads Casino. Never went inside so can’t say what it is like but looks quite new.

  13. Smh says:

    Good thing the OBA will only be the Govt for 4 years!!!

  14. Hmmmmm says:

    Ah the good old days have truly returned. Familiar bedfellows covering for one another to quell the public disquiet. John Harvey and the BHA support the Government wihtout even knowing WHAT KIND of gaming will be introduced for Bermuda. Suppose the Bill the produce supports a lottery, hosting internet gaming and one stand-alone casino. What happens then? Will they still think its a good idea? Doesn’t Harvey realize that the question about whether we have gaming or not is now decided because the Government has the votes (like they did to pass their dopey, loaded question by the way)? The issue now is what kind of gaming we will have and to date no-one in this Government, least of all the Minister of Tourism has said just what kind of gaming they want. But blindly, because it suits Johnny-boy’s politics we get this “support” for Government’s position. Back to the future is the order of the day around here.

    • Cracker with cheese says:

      Four years is a long time to cry and moan, think you can handle it?

  15. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    i think the outcome of this gaming topic will be as usual …”we can but you can’t”…

  16. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    how many of you are for a gaming spot island wide or just one big diamond in the ocean which all of bda benefits from…?

  17. See clearly says:

    My granny said to me ‘nobody in their right mind will vote PLP’.