Minister & AG In Singapore To Discuss Casinos

January 23, 2014

singapore genericMinister of Tourism & Transport Shawn Crockwell, Attorney-General Mark Pettingill and a technical officer are in Singapore where they are meeting with various entities to discuss gaming models.

Minister Crockwell said: “I announced at a press conference on January 9th that the Government had decided to proceed with the Integrated Casino Resort Model, similar to the casinos in Aruba and Singapore, instead of the stand-alone casino model.

“Of the models studied to date, Singapore’s endears itself to us the most because of its success at maximizing economic benefit and using gaming to benefit Singaporean society.

“In order to provide Bermuda the opportunity to benefit from Singapore’s success, myself, the Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, together with a technical officer, are in Singapore this week.

“We will be meeting with various Government Ministries, agencies and individuals to discuss legislative and regulatory structure and various aspects of gaming that would be best suited to a successful gaming model for Bermuda.

“We will also have an opportunity to examine the societal impact of the their model. We are confident that our attention to the Singaporean model will preserve Bermuda’s profile as a reputable international business jurisdiction on the international stage as we pursue this exciting opportunity to rejuvenate our economy.”

Minister Crockwell added: “Let me also reiterate what I said on January 9th – that Casino Gaming is not a panacea but a much needed amenity for our tourism product. We must augment our tourism offerings and we must enhance our tourism infrastructure.

“The data shows that with the implementation of responsible and well regulated casino gaming we can attract new high-end hotel brands and additional hotel inventory.

“Casino gaming will bring hotel investors to the island which will lead to Bermudian jobs and provide a needed boost to the Bermudian economy.

“We will continue to keep the public informed and provide them with how gaming will work in Bermuda during our public education campaign that will begin next week,” concluded Minister Crockwell.

The decision on gambling was initially supposed to be decided via a referendum, however last month Premier Craig Cannonier announced that they will bypass the referendum and the matter will be decided by a vote in Parliament.

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  1. Tourism Minister Comments On Singapore Trip | Bernews.com | January 27, 2014
  1. Question says:

    Appreciate the need for research and reviewing the model for implementation in Bermuda – - however, the need to travel to the locale in order to do so, I think is a bit much, based on the economic state of the country.

    Q

    • frank says:

      they did not have to go that far Bahamas is closer
      and why did the AG have to go da
      the oba has had a lot of trips including the premier

      • Soooooo says:

        True, but the Bahamas model does nothing to assist the social issues of the country (now they even have Chinese construction works building the new casino/hotel) … Singapore has more to offer as they have successfully added Casinos to their International Business community.

  2. Seems like these boys at out PLPing the PLP. How is this gentleman allowed to travel anyway? Hundreds of Bermudians would love to travel but…….. O well privilege?

    • js says:

      I would like to see the face of the Singaporean immigration officer when they scan his passport and his record comes up

    • Gariboldi says:

      It’s a business trip, not a vacation. You could have been on it if you’d stood for election and got voted in. Maybe next time eh?

    • Hurricane says:

      @ 40 acres no mule, let the travel thing go unless you are prepared to take this issue up with the USA. Let us know how far you get with that.

    • Tweedle Bug says:

      he has a special waver to travel so he is safe …

  3. swing voter says:

    hahahah just bring it home you bies….get it up and going this year. The trip will be well worth the expense, unlike past admins that came home with nothing but a smile ;-(

    • Mazumbo says:

      You fall into the category of biased critic of the year , when one party does it its a waste of time and when another party does the same thing its worth while, reminds me of Hurricane Katrina when a certain group of people came out of stores they were looters and when another group of people did the same thing they were surviving, same s–t different country !!!!!

      • swing voter says:

        Yur fulla s**** Mazumba ….. did you actually read my post? I said IF they get this Casino industry set up right, the trip is worth the expense…face the facts, several trips taken at taxpayers expense have amounted to nothing, nadda, zilch, zero for us (the general working class).. does the decision to send DOE heads to new Zealand to interview a single applicant instead of using video conference comes to mind?

        • Mazumbo says:

          Well which post ya talkin bout dreamer cause I don’t see what you just said in what I commented on.

        • Question says:

          @Swing voter – - finally!!! It has been proven that you are a damn liar – plain and simple. No where in your post above (your original post) do you use the word “IF” – period.

          You are a liar and your credibility is void.

          Now go sit in a corner and shut the hell up.

          Q

    • Question says:

      Evidence?

      Q

    • Independent says:

      @ Swing voter,

      just curious, but this information isn’t something that can be found on the internet, or through video conference, or conference call is it? Just asking.

      • swing voter says:

        be serious @ independent…this has to done right. We are not talking about writing a term paper by researching the internet. There is more at stake here…everything from legal matters, union collaboration, employee requirements, vendors, and lets not forget the actual hotel concession terms and conditions….not a good choice to teleconference as sensitive information must be shared in person face to face.

    • jt says:

      Never so much as a report on the outcomes of those past trips.

      Only 4 travelling too. That seems a vast reduction.

  4. watching says:

    But didnt Minister Crockwell already say that they were going to adopt the Singapore model? Why would they select the model to adopt before even visiting or getting the info on the model?
    Pettingill and Crockwell are definitely racking up the frequent flyer miles. I guess its ok with many people though, becuase they are not PLP.

  5. Confused voter says:

    Who’s in charge of what?

    The Minister of Tourism or the Tourism Authority. This Government been in charge all of 2013, and in just over 12 weeks it will be May. Who will you point the blame at after 2014 season? Each other!!

  6. Yahoo says:

    What a joke. If this was Erat and Flip Flop, there would be 150 comments by now.

    I fail to see how (a) you need to go all the way to Singapore when there are locales like Vegas, AC, Bahamas and Aruba all so much closer and (b) why the AG and one of his lackies are tagging along? Smells a lot like a boondoggle to me.

    Also, it’s called teleconferencing OBA… look into it.

    • Legal says:

      The AG will be responsible for crafting the gaming regulations/laws.

      Good reason for him to take part.

  7. Gariboldi says:

    Great stuff. The benefits of the knowledge gained will far, far outweigh the cost of the trip.

    Good also to see Premier Cannonier and Minister Fahy having lunch on the patio at The Beach, and not some high-end junket surrounded by lackeys and bodyguards, as was the case in the not too distant past.

    • sage says:

      10 minutes online research could tell you the same thing. It’s so nice when the big shots rub shoulders with the peasantry locally, did they wear their “scruffy clothes” too?

    • watching says:

      You mean MP Cannonier was having lunch with Premier Fahy?

    • Hmmmmm says:

      Funny. no-one ever said that David Gibbons or David Saul didn’t socialize enough. They were left to be themselves and govern how they saw fit. Only our black Premiers are required to shuck and jive, gald-hand and back slap to be accepted. Just what does the Premier having lunch at the beach prove ? Except perhaps that he was hungry.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Don’t forget Swan who would take at least a half hour to do a 5 minute walk in Hamilton by the time he stopped & spoke to everyone along the way.

  8. more than enough says:

    i can just see the grins on their faces now..
    rollin’ deep, with the tax payers money, i see.
    penthouse suites, fancy food, and drinks.
    silk suits,bow ties, and sunglasses, 24-7 vip access,
    and some time on the tables…for research, (of course)
    must be nice.
    did the the tourism authority ok this extra expenditure, for this to be done on their behalf?
    and if not, what is the purpose for the ag tagging along?
    could this not have been handled by bermuda’s ‘lone ranger’ of tourism?

  9. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    should have gone to Vegas boys..

    What Happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!

    now Singapore is an open book

    • terry says:

      Irony in your comment Nuffin.
      What happened in Vegas could happen in Bermuda.

  10. aceboy says:

    Crockwell and Pettingil are off on a Ewart.

  11. The Kid says:

    Bermuda is in intensive care.

    The place to go if any is Bimini, the Bahamas, they just opened a brand new casino, half the size of the BAA gym, brand new, owned by the Genting Group from Malaysia. Its the perfect model for Bermuda, all the machine and all the tables, restaurants, bar, everything you need. No need for a trip to Singapore fellas!

    And airfare to Bimini is around 750.00 !!! Not 10k each

  12. flikel says:

    Many things never cease to amaze me. We tend to view the ‘rightness’ or ‘wrongness’ of an action based on who is performing the action, rather than on the action itself.

    This trip would be deemed unnecessary, wast of time, a junket on taxpayer’s money if it occurred under a certain political party.

    However, this same trip is heralded as good business, a worthwhile expense, a worthy taxpayer expense as it is performed by a certain political party.

    When will we the people, the electorate grow up an offer an objective opinion on the actions of the government, regardless of which party is in power. Once we do this, we will see a better Bermuda and politicians who are truly accountable.

    Only in Bermuda do politicians often justify their actions be stating, “you can’t criticize me, because your party did the same thing…therefore, I can do it to”. If the action is wrong, then it is wrong and vice versa.

  13. Rhonda Neil says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Singapore
    The government in Singapore has broad powers to limit citizens’ rights and to inhibit political opposition.[1] In 2009, Singapore was ranked 133rd out of 175 nations by Reporters Without Borders in the Worldwide Press Freedom Index. Freedom in the World 2006 ranked Singapore 5 out of 7 for political freedom, and 4 out of 7 for civil liberties (where 1 is the most free), with an overall ranking of “partly free”

  14. Rhonda Neil says:

    Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates of any country around the globe is common knowledge. The reasons behind this fact may be less widely known – penalties for crime in Singapore are often severe.

    The Singaporean government and its strong arm of the law, the Singapore Police Force, run a tight ship in terms of keeping the city and its residents safe and sound. The results are clearly visible: Crime in Singapore is very low, and the country has a reputation as being one of the safest places around the globe. At times, the extent of control borders on the questionable, though.

  15. Common Sense says:

    How we go about introducing casino gambling in Bermuda is probably one of the biggest and most difficult decisions this Government will face in the next 3 years. The discussions have been going on for years and NOTHING has been done in the past. It sounds as though Crockwell and Co have been doing their homework and have zoomed in on the Singaporian model as maybe the best way to go.

    Someone is suggesting that they could do it by teleconferencing but the issues are complex and will no doubt involve in-depth discussions with a variety of Government, legal and other authorities.

    Despite all the backbiting it seems crystal clear that both our political parties support casino gambling so it’s coming one way or the other. For this reason the Government needs to get it right – for all our sakes.

    What we need next is transparency moving forward so we the public know what the options are and how this Government sees it working. One thing I would urge is that any hotel given a permit to operate a gambling casino should also be required to operate a nightclub using some local talent.

  16. Bermuda Boy says:

    @ more than enough, this is the OBA not Ewart and his spend like there is no tomorrow possee !!!!!!

  17. Nicole says:

    Let the men carry on their business for Bermuda. I would much prefer the Singapore model vs. the Bahamian model. I have actually heard comments that Singapore reminds people of Bermuda (the colonial past and “quaintness”). If there is any reason to doubt the reason for which they went or if it transpires that they spent oodles of the taxpayers’ money etc. then something should be done about it. Takes money to make money people.

  18. watching says:

    Has anyone heard from the Premier since he announced the u-turn on the referendum? There has been a virtual silence on that topic and the marijuana discussion.

  19. Triangle Drifter says:

    I question the necessity of this trip too but if the Singapore version has been judged to be the best suited for Bermuda I suppose a trip to see first hand is in order.

    The other lot would have been all over the world on junkets supposedly on business. Seen any tourists from China yet? How about LA. Lots of time spent there. Why? Oh…..never mind.

    In a few weeks we should be able to see how much is being spent on travel.

    • moms says:

      @triangle drifter—yeah, I’ve actually seen a number of Chinese visitors, in Bermuda,.. and what gave the Minister the inclination to go to Singapore? whose suggestion was it and now what are we paying the tourism authority to do?Las Vegas is the hottest spot for gambling and they build hotels for half the price we built our schools!don’t see how Singapore or anywhere else can compare to Bermuda..Furthere we already had gambling and still have gambling so this would basically be just an extension of what already exist, doesn’t require this much attention to detail, ask the people who ran it before and whose machines were confiscated! they are right under our noses and wouldn’t cost a plane ticket to consult.

  20. Tony Brannon says:

    The Singapore Model is a great one for Bermuda. Dr Ewart Brown, sometime ago, sent me an email when he was in Singapore lauding how fantastic Resort Gaming was there. I think it is good for Minister Crockwell and the AG to make the trip and meet the key people over there.
    Lets bring the bill to the house in February and get this show on the road !

  21. Hopeful says:

    I’m hoping that at least they used economy seats rather than business class seats to Asia – $300 vs %15k per person…. I would respect them more if that is the case and if not then maybe they should have stepped up above it all and taken the economy seats given the needs of the country….

    • Lois Frederick says:

      Please tell me where I can get a ticket to Asia for $300? The last time I bought a ticket last year, the cheapest I could find was $2700.
      Having made that trip numerous times I would not want anyone representing Bermuda having just stepped off a 20+ hour trip sitting in economy. I am glad they are there to get a first hand look at Singapore as a casino model. A three person group also is what might be expected. I see no issue and would imagine all Bermudians would want the persons who are making the big decisions concerning gaming and actually responsible for the drafting of law to be closely involved in the fact finding trips.

    • Hmmmmm says:

      Are you serious? How immature. If my Minister of Tourism and AG are going to represent me I want them in the front of the bus all the time. I want them to arrive wherever they’re going, fighting fit and ready to work. Who in their right mind would be comforted by the fact that their leaders were flying in economy for 18 hours to the Far East on government business? This self hatred is exactly why we get the poor quality politicians we have. This is where all you Ewart/PLP haters’ arguments break down. Your attacks were never founded in prinipal just in petty jealousy and a “who does he think he is?” approach to life. As a core PLP supporter I EXPECT my ministers from whatever Party to travel, to travel business class or first if its allowed and to work hard while doing it. Your kind of thinking is exactly what the OBA/UBP cultivated over their Opposition years and now it’s coming back to bite them. An argument not founded on principle but on pettiness. Grow up Bermuda.

  22. Back-in-the-day-girl says:

    Let’s get real here. Do you think that Mr. John Q. Public is going to pay $400+ a night for a hotel room (before food and transportation) to come HERE to gamble when he can pay $80 a night with free daily buffet and other perks in Las Vegas??? Please! And don’t get me started in on all the other social ills that will follow. If the government’s goal is to sell our collective soul to the devil, then we better be prepared to pay the piper. IJS.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      I think you will find that the PLP are just as pro gaming as the OBA. No difference other that the OBA are grasping the bull by its horns and making it happen. Do want jobs to be created? If so how do you expect those jobs to materialise? It is going to be construciton jobs and then jobs in the casion and upgraded resorts that is going to do that. That’s the reality of our times.

      • Back-in-the-day-girl says:

        Maybe so, but who is going to stay in those upgraded resorts? We can’t fill beds at $400 a night. Those upgraded rooms will cost a heck of a lot more. So yes on the front end jobs will be created, but they won’t last on the back end when this fails epically!

        • Lois Frederick says:

          The gaming component will hopefully reinvigorate the whole of Tourism industry allowing for fresh new ideas and attractions to lure more people to Bermuda. To think otherwise is to really accept defeat and give up on Tourism totally. I think most would agree there is potential to improve the product here and create more jobs. The problem has been the lack of interest from investors and it has been stated that Bermuda was off the radar for investors altogether. The potential of Gaming has got them looking at Bermuda again after decades. That is very encouraging. They will still need major concessions to take the plunge. High spenders travel all over the world and are willing to pay for top service. We need to offer them a better experience than they are getting presently and they might come in bigger numbers.

  23. campervan says:

    So long as they don’t have an entourage of mirror shaded bodyguards, big blingy limos at their disposal, pay 4k a night for their hotel penthouse suite, and they don’t pimp it up at the Playboy mansion; I say crack on chaps and do your research for Bermuda and bring home the bacon.
    Lets get this thing done and don’t get derailed by the Fundamentalist Gay Basher party.
    Lets try to build a new hotel and not just blow one up.

  24. Story Teller says:

    The comparisons to this form of travel against the previous leaders’ are ridiculous and contrived simply out of political tribalism that seems to have taken hold in Bermuda.

    These gentlemen are traveling to Singapore to gain knowledge on how they constructed and now maintain a casino gaming industry which has proven to be a very profitable business for both the Singaporean Government and by extension the populace. Reviews just not of the facilities of themselves but also to gain a better understanding on how the initial move was constructed by Singapore as well as the relevant legislation and regulation required to accommodate this new industry and any social support programs created to offset any potential negative impacts of gaming. If you think that by Skyping with Singaporean representatives and Googling such important information can be gleaned than you are more than naïve and have never worked in a business or legislative development role.

    They have stated, prior to this announcement as well, that their vision for Bermuda’s gaming model is Singapore. So why are you guys so adamant about them going to the Bahamas? Have any of you done your research about the Bahamas gaming model? Especially given the deep seated hatred many of you have about any foreigners being on our shores. The Chinese brought their own workers to construct the Bahamas gaming institutions, much like they do for recent African infrastructure developments, with many of them deciding to make their home there and doing what you guys would call is taking jobs from the locals.

    Now, when Dr. Brown, who flew first class and stayed in $7k a night hotels on the taxpayers dime, traveled to India what benefit did Bermuda receive? He promised Bollywood movies and Indian investment. All we (he) got was a new generic drug importation company with the shareholders being Dr. Brown, Rolfe Commissiong and the Indian gentleman that he was pictured with during his travels. When he traveled to China what benefit did Bermuda receive for that junket? Have you seen any inward Chinese investment come to fruition, as promised by Dr. Brown at the time, on our shores since then? When Dr. Brown traveled to Dubai and stayed in a $7k a night hotel what benefit did Bermuda receive? When Dr. Brown used taxpayers’ funds to finance his son’s poker tournament at the Playboy Mansion, what benefit did Bermuda receive? Also, when Dr. Brown traveled not only did he travel with other Government ministers and civil servants he also had to waste taxpayer monies on his bodyguards. What benefit did Bermuda receive when Ms. Cox traveled all around to accept frivolous awards on the taxpayer’s dime?

    Not all travel undertaken by the previous Government was a waste of time and money, but these are the examples that people complained about. And by ignoring these facts just makes your complaint and comparisons completely disingenuous.

    The difference between those above examples and this trip is that the Government has promise to pass gaming and thus is learning from the jurisdictions which have the experience and know-how to ensure that the infrastructure is done right the first time. Once the legislation is in place and the investors start to show much greater interest in Bermuda (as acknowledged by both sides of the political aisle) and begin to invest their monies into the island resulting in construction, tourism and other related jobs, who benefits? See the difference? If not, then there is no hope for you as your political allegiance apparently prevents your rational thinking capacity from operating at a rational level.

  25. blahblah says:

    Remember when eb went to China,India,Argentia etc. And nothing came out of it?…was he just sight seeing?

  26. Serious Though says:

    OBA want casino’s for the existing hotels FIRST, and any other locals business man and women, then attract new investors, both for IB and hotels

    That’s my 2 cents

  27. doordie says:

    The Oba must find quick and viable ways to get us out of this duldrums,or will all face a slow death and become a wasteland.

  28. azillionjunkies says:

    get back here and address illegal cannabis. legalizing cannabis means we don’t need casinos to launder the money

  29. clearasmud says:

    Bermuda is very small and having the resort model means having more than one casino. We cannot attract enough tourist now so i dont see how having more than one will generate profits for anyone. While it will offer added value to guest it will not generate profit and it will not attract foreign investors. Yes it will create some jobs but I do not believe it will be sustainable! While I believe that we should have gaming I am not convinced that we our on the best course.

    Also I have to ask should’t they have visited before they committed to this model? Makes you wonder how they made the decision!

  30. more than enough says:

    imagine you had an income, from various tributaries, flowing into your bank account. totaling say, $500,000 per annum (after expenses), or more.
    this is a conservative estimate…
    and then u land a job paying aprox. $120,000 – $150,000 plus a $350,000 travel stipend. and lets not forget, room and board, with maid service included.
    not to mention lifetime benefits, alongside $100,000, per annum, pension.
    for example.
    must be nice…
    bermuda has truly given these individuals the ‘sweet life’. surely, it was by hard work, and dedication, that most of these individuals, have elevated themselves to these ‘privileged’ positions. others are born into it…nevertheless, i dare say, these individuals are ill-prepared to deal with the concerns of the poor, the homeless, the forgotten, the unemployed, the uninsured, and the hungry members of our community.
    as this requires more than just attention to your own enrichment.
    a pinch of humbleness(if that’s even possible)might go a long way.
    i hope they are going to be worth the $$$
    although i doubt it

  31. more than enough says:

    how much would u stake on it?