Online Petition Calls For Gambling Referendum

January 9, 2014

[Updated with video] This morning [Jan 9] an online petition and website was formally launched calling for the Government to hold a referendum on the legalization of casino gambling in Bermuda.

A press conference was held to announce the petition, with speakers including former Independent political candidate Jonathan Starling, former UBP Leader Kim Swan,  BEST Chairman Stuart Hayward and Michael Ashton.

_MG_4948

During the run up to the 2012 General Election, the OBA pledged to hold a referendum, with their election material [PDF] stating they would hold a referendum on casino gaming.

In November 2012, the Government tabled the Referendum Act 2013, saying the public would be asked: “Do you favour the introduction of regulated casino gaming for the purposes of creating new jobs for Bermudians and encouraging hotel development.”

In December 2012 Premier Cannonier announced that instead of holding a referendum on gambling, the matter will be decided by a vote in Parliament.

There was some back and forth between the Government and Opposition, with the Premier saying it was clear the “referendum process will be undermined” by the Opposition, a claim the PLP flatly denied.

The group spearheading the petition said they are non-partisan and not for or against gambling, they are “simply for democracy and for a referendum on the issue.”

The online petition [link] states:

We believe that the issue of gambling is best decided by an informed and educational process leading up to a neutrally worded referendum question on the issues. We call on the Government to return to its commitment to a referendum on gambling.

We, the undersigned, registered voters of Bermuda, hereby petition the Premier and the Government of Bermuda to hold a referendum on the legalization of casino gambling in Bermuda, using a neutral question ‘do you support the legalization of casino gambling in Bermuda?

The group has also launched a website, which states: “Those of us involved in this are not involved in political point-scoring, of taking OBA or PLP positions; we are simply committed to the need to have a referendum to decide the issue of gambling in Bermuda.

“Nor are we here to represent a position for or against gambling, as our views range from against to indifferent to in favour.

“We are united only in our belief that a referendum on gambling is the most appropriate vehicle for deciding this issue. We believe that this transcends political party loyalties or even support or opposition to gambling itself, and we look forward to your support on this issue.

“In doing this we note that both the PLP and the OBA had a consensus during the 2012 election that the issue of gambling should be decided by a referendum and not by parliament – it is our belief that this consensus was correct – that a referendum is the most appropriate vehicle for deciding the issue of gambling.”

For the online petition click here, for the new website click here and for all our coverage on the referendum decision click here.

Update 2.19pm: At today’s press conference, Minister of Tourism Shawn Crockwell was asked about this petition campaign, and said he would “invite all of those that signed the petition to get involved in the public education campaign.”

“Clearly they want to have their voices heard, and we believe that is going to be a transparent process,” said Minister Crockwell. “The Government has made its decision, and I don’t foresee the Government wavering on that decision, but of course democracy is always healthy, and we look forward to receiving that petition.”

Update 7.04pm: Michael Ashton, one of the group behind the petition, said, “Research on the financial and social effects of casino gambling demonstrates very mixed results.

“It is because of this very complicated interplay of issues that we are encouraging the use of a referendum to force the dissemination of facts both positive and negative to all Bermudians so that a more informed decision can be achieved.

“To date, little objective information has been published with the exception of the BEST position paper leaving most of the discussion on casino gambling to those who hope for either direct or indirect financial gain.

“This is not a simple process and not all casinos and the cities in which they exist enjoy long term prosperity. It is therefore essential that an issue as large and important as this be fully researched and discussed by everyone in our small island community and not leave it to those few in parliament who will be pressured by vested interest groups to decide for all Bermudians.”

Update 7.38pm: 23 minute video of the press conference

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (102)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Voter says:

    Gaming will be decided by our MPs. No more delay,we need the decision whether or not gaming will be introduced,sooner rather than later!

    • Betty Trump says:

      GREAT STEP FORWARD AND STANDING FOR DEMOCRACY !! PUSH ON….

      “We are united only in our belief that a referendum on gambling is the most appropriate vehicle for deciding this issue. We believe that this “transcends political party loyalties” or even support or opposition to gambling itself, and we look forward to your support on this issue.

      “In doing this we note that both the PLP and the OBA had a consensus during the 2012 election that the issue of gambling should be decided by a referendum and not by parliament – it is our belief that this consensus was correct – that a referendum is the most appropriate vehicle for deciding the issue of gambling.”

      YES such an important issue should be decided upon by the PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY AND NOT A FEW MAN ON THE HILL

      • swing voter says:

        yah it was alright when a former premier and un-elected minister did whatever they wanted without informing cabinet….I guess. At least you can call your MP and voice your displeasure. No-one had that choice before Uighur gate became apparent

        • Indepedent says:

          @ Swing ovter,

          Do you teach your kid’s that two wrongs make a right?

          That seems to be your thinking with regard to this story, so just curious where your head is at.

          • My sentiments exactly.

          • swing voter says:

            don’t make me laugh….two wrongs my azz….the former premier broke the constitution and didn’t advise his colleagues…..the present premier simply made a business decision and decided to allow MPs to do their jobs and vote on policy….2 different kettle of fish…biggest difference is that one reeks of rotten self indulgence and the other is being fillet and stewed down to eventually feed the masses….go figure

        • Hmmmmm says:

          Funny, so far YOUR unelected Minister has broken his promise on term limits, has re-introduced the property vote to Bermudian politics and is warming up to grant status and voting rights for a fee…….give me some unseen, unheard, unknown Uighurs any day.

          • swing voter says:

            can you spell ‘trickle down’ economics which has worked for decades for caricom nations? shall I bore you with examples?

          • It's about time! says:

            You can HAVE the Uighurs! I’ll take the money they received for letting them in here! If you think no money changed hands then I have a bridge to sell you….

  2. St.george resident says:

    Kim your a nice guy but you need to just give up and stick to playing golf.

  3. 1minute says:

    Sign the petition if you are against Gaming in Bermuda, otherwise Government is doing what you want and saving major dollars by not holding a referendum

    • Saving money so they can waste it somewhere else, like on themselves.

      • Mike Hind says:

        You’re confusing them with your guys…

        • Stop being a Pompous Idiot boy says:

          So does the Premier need that many staff working for him? Stop drinking the red kool aid Mike. 2 of his staff combined are making over $200,000.00. Terminate them after their 1 year contract and Bermuda can save additional money right there.

          • Mike Hind says:

            I think you need to snag yourself a dictionary, there “Stop being a Pompous Idiot boy”…

            I love how we’re all supposed to ignore the spending your guys did because the Premier has some consultants.

            It’s a ridiculous premise, as is the “stop drinking the red kool aid” attack.

            I love how it’s racist to use that term when applied to PLP supporters, but a white guy? Perfectly alright.

            Ridiculous.

            • Indepedent says:

              @ Mike Hind,

              Still pretending to be a straigh shooter. I wonder if you read what you are writing.

              And for someone who tries to come off as being above the petty comments, you show your A$$ every now and then.

              And for you to use the “Your guy did it” Lol, sounds like a 8 year old.

              Your just a groupie pretending to be a straight shooter lol.

              So groupie on, as you will, I know I don’t need to encourage you.

              • Well said. This guy adds nothing to the discussion. Absolutely nnothing.

                • Mike Hind says:

                  Like you do? Right.

                  At least I have the courage to sign my name.

                  Real brave, taking shots while hiding like a coward.

                  • Kangoocar says:

                    Don’t waste your time responding to the likes of googa mooga, we don’t agree on world politics but we certainly agree locally, and I can tell you it is a waste of time responding to an individual that accuses you of adding nothing to the discussions but actually has said nothing of substance himself??? He is just another plp blogger, shows how desperate the plp have become when they have these types posting their nonsense,,,,,

              • Mike Hind says:

                @”Independent”

                Still taking potshots and then running away when proven wrong.

                And still with the same completely false line of bull.

                Are you going to try to have a conversation with me about this, or are you just going to do the usual and take this little shot at me then run away like a coward this time, too?

                Every time you think you see an in, you take it, making a stupid attempt at denouncing me, while hiding like a wuss behind a fake name, then disappear.

                Be a man. Engage me.
                Or stay the cowardly little worm that you’ve proven to be and keep doing this same nonsense over and over.

                • Indepedent says:

                  @Mike Hind

                  I call it like I see it, and your a OBA groupie.

                  I was born a man, so I ain’t got nothing to prove to you.

                  The funny thing you don’t get is that I would respect you more if you just came out and said you are pro oba.

                  But you try to act like a straight shooter who is here for democracy, when any logical thinking person who reads your comments knows that’s not what you stand for.

                  I’m calling you out cause I smell Bull $***.

                  Look at me as your reality check, you aint a straight shooter. I swear you go around looking for anyone questioning this GOV, and you jump into action like the groupie you are. lol

                  In my younger years, I would tell you we can meet somewhere and settle this however you like, but I have grown some, so no need to go that route.

                  • Hmmm says:

                    “In my younger years, I would tell you we can meet somewhere and settle this however you like, but I have grown some, so no need to go that route”

                    1 Why not suggest a game of chess
                    2 What have you grown ?

                  • Mike Hind says:

                    Ah, the thinly veiled threat. Yeah. You’re a real grownup.

                    I know you want me to be an OBA supporter, because then it’s easy to dismiss my posts (for some reason. Why is it that it’s ok for you to be a PLP supporter, so rabid that you’re willing to spread untruths and misinformation and false accusations against someone – instead of addressing what they said – but someone else being an OBA groupie – which I’m not – is bad? How does that make sense? Oh, wait. It doesn’t. You’re just trying to denounce someone that points out that your precious party isn’t made up of the saints you pretend it is.)

                    When you DO finally grow up and are willing to have a real, honest conversation, then let me know and we can talk. If you’re just going to continue your faux macho posturing – while timidly hiding behind a pen name – and bizarre false accusations, do me a favour and leave me out of it. Or at least accuse me of something that’s, you know, true.

                    Having an anti-PLP bias, given the past few years, doesn’t make me an OBA groupie. I know this is hard for you to comprehend, but it’a true.

                    Not, are we going to have silence, more lies or are you going to man up and address what I said?

              • Mike Hind says:

                And how about addressing what I said?

                Or is that too much for you?

            • Stop being a Pompous Idiot boy says:

              This is the first time I had 1 white man define me a white man as racist. I’ll tell you a little about myself I voted OBA and also signed off on a large donation early 2012 contribute to the parties win against the PLP. Please don’t make points that you know nothing about. The Premier is wasting money by having so many consultants. I have made this clear to my friends who I support in the OBA.
              Your’re balarious Mike J Hind.

              • Impressive says:

                dont mind him,,, he comes on here and pretends to be impartial but only attacks the posts of people who criticize the OBA,, not once, and I repeat no once has he evEr held someone accountable for unfair remarks about members of the PLP,, (NO ONCE!!!!)

                In addition, after a year in office he still can’t see that the Premier is in way over his head.. I mean all the money spent on helping this guy do his job,, all the terrible remarks the backtracking, the silence on key issues, and he still cant see it.. I have spoken to OBA people who admit that the Premier is a joke, but oh no, not the magnificent Mike Hind.. amazing

                • Indepedent says:

                  @ Impressive,

                  I feel you completely, and agree.

                  I’m just tired of the guy pretending. He reminds me of the drug addict who thinks nobody know’s what they are doing, when everybody knows exactly what their doing lol.

                  • Mike Hind says:

                    Not even close to true.

                    Try honesty. It works better.

                    I know you want me to stop pointing out you guys’ stuff in a hope that we will forget the past 14 years ‘cuz you’re still in Election Mode, but this is not the way to get me to stop.

                    If you posted honestly and said things that were true, you would have no problem with me. But the way folks like you spread lies and dishonest bull, I can’t help but tilt at that windmill.

                    Want me to stop posting? Stop lying.

                    • Impressive says:

                      no,, i don’t want you to stop posting, I just want you to be more unbiased with regards to certain issues then pretend to be this impartial person, or if you are going to be that biased person, which is fine, at least admit it, and stick to that stance, it would make the debates or arguments with you more real, as I would be sure on your stance, instead of being confused… ;-)

                    • Mike Hind says:

                      Here we go again with the “You pretend to be unbiased” lie.
                      I’ve NEVER said I’m unbiased.
                      What I HAVE said is that I’m not a supporter of either party, usually against the desperate “Oh, you’re an OBA supporter” claims (you know… like you’re trying here).
                      I have a decidedly anti-PLP bias. I freely admit that. It’s based on the mismanagement of our country, racially hostile statements from both supporters and representatives, outright lies and some of the worst, most sickening and false propaganda I’ve ever had the displeasure of seeing.

                      I do like how you claim you have debates… that’s hilarous.

                      Especially when you go one to make the false claim that my stance is confusing.
                      Your entire post is a pathetic joke of an attempt at smear. Completely dishonest and full of absolute nonsense.

                      Like I said. Stop lying.

                • Mike Hind says:

                  The first part? Absolutely right.
                  But it has absolutely nothing to do with whether my posts are correct.
                  I’ve never denied an anti-PLP bias. Not once.
                  I HAVE, however, held anti-PLP posters accountable (your words) when they post nonsense like you do. So your claim? It’s a lie. An outright lie. You are a liar.

              • Mike Hind says:

                Ah, the personal attacks and rewriting of history. Always fun.

                The level of dishonesty from you guys is getting tiresome.

                Not once did I say you were racist. Not once.

                But you keep creating your own reality. See how that works for you.

                • Independent says:

                  @Mike Hind

                  Lol I believe I struck a nerve! Lol

                  • Mike Hind says:

                    Yes. Read my post. Dishonesty, lies, personal attacks and rewriting of history DOES strike a nerve. It’s nothing to laugh at.

      • swing voter says:

        aren’t you a few years too late with that comment? wer u ben bie?

    • rubber bong says:

      The money spent will be a drop in a bucket when compared to the money wasted everyday by government, so thats a non-issue for such an important decision.

  4. Verbal Kint says:

    It was Johnnystar. Go get ‘em, fellas.

  5. ButICanDream says:

    I want to sign the petition so I can vote NO on the referendum. I cannot BELIEVE that they use such a loaded question anyways! Ugh it disgusts me. DISGUSTS.

  6. SeaBee says:

    Ok, I’ve held it in long enough. NO GAMBLING!!!!!!! First off, what kind of people do you think you’re going to attract? Who in there right mind is going to fly here and pay these outrageous hotel prices? The rich and famous? Stop clouding your minds with what you hope is going to happen. Why would americans come here when they have Vegas, AC or any Indian Reservation that built a huge hotel. For the beaches? Real gamblers are there for the action not the sun. You think we have a drug and crime problem now? WAIT, you’re in for a treat if this gambling thing happens. Gambling is not the answer, we need to come up with a much better plan.

    • Hmmm says:

      If it fails then they will close up the casinos…so no issue.

      • Your head is in the sand, they wont closed them if it is failing, they would just introduce a red light district to Bermuda,and be like Amsterdam were anything goes, then you can have the gambling,booze, women and Marijuana all in the same establishment.
        sounds like a business plan to me, bet most of the male politicians would support that.

        Don’t you know how creative Bermuda is, the only place in the world were you can have four seasons in one day, and now four options to choose from depending the time of the day, and what season you think you may be in. um gona go in the nex room,dis bye is getting vex all de gunja smoke in hair,an de pole dancers in de nex room cross from de barr,an dont go in de sino dem byes argoo ing about da machine rip em off.

  7. Islanders says:

    IS Kim and Company going to pay for this referendum themselves or send a letter requesting donations to those who agree with the referendum and ain’t no party stole more than the PLP so lets leave all of that where it lies and move on

  8. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    More bollocks,just get on with it and lets get some jobs available on this island,it’s getting hard to exist here for MANY people.
    sooner or later this island is going to have some major disturbances and still you people in government wont care.

  9. Uncommon Sense says:

    I believe we elect a government to make these important decisions for us. While I agree that some decisions that IRREVOCABLY affect the future of the country should be decided by referendum (eg. independence), I do not believe this is one of them. A referendum would delay a decision investors are waiting on, and cost this government hundreds of thousands of dollars. Aren’t we tring to save money right now due to our untenable debt situation?

    Also as has been said before, the issue most have with gambling is NOT should we allow it for tourists, but should we allow Bermudians/residents to partake? This is where we worry about the negative social repercussions which is understandable. I think we should permit gambling for tourists to bring in foreign investment, hotel developments, tax income, and create jobs, but not allow gambling for Bermudians/locals. Bahamas has already adopted this model and apparently it works very well. So what is the real issue here??

    • rubber bong says:

      Hundreds of thousands are nothing in a budget of 1.2Bn. And like you said, the issue is not opposition to gambling but the social impact of gambling. This is where properly education the public on the Government’s vision of gaming will be on the island. As of now we know nothing. Will it be only restricted to hotels? Will we have slot machines in every bar on the island? Who will be allowed to gamble? What will the Government do to minimize the negative social impact? Can we afford to address the social impact as we seen govt struggling now? Organized Crime? White color crime? These are all issues that the public need information on to decide one way or another or even to feel comfortable. The gaming itself is not the worrisome issue.

      Remember when we had slot machines, little old ladies were throwing their pension checks at them and then struggling to afford to live, putting strain on other family members to fill the gap.

      And if its SO needed now, why was there so much opposition when the PLP tried to introduce gaming. Remember every OBA and UBP MP voted against. What has changed since then? We were still in a bad financial position. The premier and ruling party were different but what happens if they get into power some time in the future?

      Premier Cannonier says we need to get the construction industry working as part of his decision but we live on an island with a finite land mass so construction will always have ebbs and flows. Every time theres a slow construction period will we create a new industry just to have something to build? What happens when we finish modifying hotels to fit casinos? What then will we build? Theres plenty office space laying vacant now.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      I agree with you until you say Bermudians should not be allowed to gamble. The issue the investors will have is that they need the locals to participate to try and recoup their investment. With our very seasonal tourism business they will simply not have enough business to survive. So it can only work with the ability for locals to take part too. That’s the reality of the situation. Bahamas has a year round season we don’t.

      • Mike Hind says:

        One of the pluses of the introduction of gaming is that it opens up the possibility of not having to be seasonal! It now gives us something very real to offer out visitors – not just gaming, but entertainment, dining, etc. Stuff that the increased product gaming brings – in the off season.

        • Yeah you can play your ukelele Mike. Real entertainment.

          • Mike Hind says:

            Yes. I can.

            And other people can play pianos. And guitars. And drums. And bass. And singers will have more opportunities.

            If I’m not your cup of tea, and it’s fine if I’m not, then maybe someone else who IS your definition of “real entertainment” would be more up your alley… And will have more possible venues and chances to make a living doing what they’re good at.

        • Lois Frederick says:

          Yes of course the opportunity exists to increase the season it is no doubt will, but we are still left with winter weather like right now with our less than perfect conditions. The Caribbean have a big advantage with their year round season. Their off season is our high season…

          • Mike Hind says:

            Yep. But they’re also not 2 hours away. Don’t dismiss that selling point. It’s a biggie. Always has been.

    • Ride says:

      I have an issue with a nanny state dictating to me that I can’t partake in some legal recreation while others do on the basis that some citizen may become addicted to it. I find the concept personally insulting.

      If that is the case then why do we not prevent the sale of alcohol and tobacco citizens on the same basis? Clearly these are legal recreations that have demonstrable addictive results for some. Yet the sale of these are not restricted from our citizens (excluding minors). Also, there is organised public gambling at Cup Match. On the same basis, shouldn’t we prevent citizens from partaking in this as well.

      Where has this nonsense stemmed from? It would not surprise me if it were the Church. In any case, it would seem that the overwhelming majority of the patrons would not be addicted. For those that do develop an issue some portion of the gaming taxes could be set aside for a programme to address their dependency.

      For the rest of us, I say, brush down the tables and let the chips fall where they may.

      Ride

    • We the people!! (1st) says:

      You make a good point. While I agree with most of your comment, I disagree with your position that gaming is not a decision that should be put to a referendum.

      First, the money argument. With so many countries that don’t even have a fair democracy, how can we really put a price on democracy? In some other countries they vote on almost every piece legislation, we can’t even vote on one. Also the price that people have paid, some with their lives, for democracy how can be belittle such a democratic right because of a few hundred thousands of dollars to do the right thing.

      You use The Bahamas model of gaming, which I too believe is a good model as an example. However, The Bahamas has held multiple referendums on the issue of gaming. In fact they held one last year asking should Bahamians be allowed to gamble.

      Also, there are many jurisdictions that have recently held a referendum on gaming, Bahamas, Toronto, New York, in 20 Iowa counties in 2010, in New Jersey, Palm Beach in 2011. You would be amazed on how many pieces of legislation the voting public in the US gets to vote on.

      Yet in Bermuda, for such an important and historic piece of legislation that could have both positive (financial) and negative (social) impact, we can’t simply to the right thing and put this to a referendum. Let the people decide. Every other jurisdiction can do the right thing by the people and for the people by having a referendum on gaming, but here in Bermuda under the spirit of ‘The Urgency of Now’ (desperation) we have neglected OBA’S former stance on gaming in 2012 and early 2013, and many others stance as – The Right Thing to Do!!

  10. Hmmm says:

    Where is the option of voting no to a referendum… this could easily have been done…You guys are shameful. I hope this backfires on your sorry selves.

  11. It's about time! says:

    What a CROCK!! Put out a petition calling on Government to hold fast and NOT have a referendum and you will get similar results!!

    What then??

    STOP wasting more time and MONEY!!!!

  12. ImWatchingYou says:

    A bunch of rejects the lot of them!

  13. truth be told says:

    Bunch of loosers go hide under a rock ! and stop wasting people,s time ! and possibly tax money if the ignorant follow ! if any one had any interest in what you had to say they would have at the very least voted for some of you!

    oh yeah! and take Betty with you! Reading this crap is sad! more important issues should be addressed!

  14. Starting point says:

    seems simple, hold a referendum to see if people want a referendum on gambling.

    • frank says:

      while we are playing the fool with tourisum other destinations are moving ahead leave ‘it to the grey beard and best to object to everything casino’s are not the silver bullet but it will attract some development
      kim just enjoy your life and play golf

  15. Triangle Drifter says:

    This lot is merely a small bump in the road. Drive over them. Get the legislation through & open the first doors for gaming.

    Enough already!

    No, we won’t be any Monte Carlo. No, we won’t be any Vegas. No, we won’t even be some indian reservation styled hotel/casino. At the most the few hotel propertys left will have some machines & a table or two for the entertainment of their guests. Nothing big at all but it will give guests something to do at night.

  16. enough said says:

    Just get on and approve… People here need to see change and a move forward. I understand people were looking to have their say but you know- ‘TIME IS MONEY!
    Move on Bermuda – get with the rest of the world. We are not as special as we think we are. EVERYONE has social issues- gambling will not change that.

  17. Heads up says:

    I thought the goal was 4000 signatures? Says 1000 on petition…. Either way, just legalize!

  18. Cranberry says:

    I bet there won’t be a referendum… ;)

  19. Bermydude says:

    The 4 idiots that can go no where life!

    Swan… Stick to golf
    Starling…. at my door step u made various promises if you got elected , well didn’t , so, we can’t keep pussy footing on this issue.

    Hayward…. Stick to the environment that u do a very poor job at also.

    The other guy… Don’t know anything about you !!

    • Indepedent says:

      @ Bermydude,

      You sound like you don’t know much.

      You know what happens when people start ASSuming things right?

      I’m pro gambling, but I can’t hate on these people for voicing their opinion.

    • Impressive says:

      the normal sequence of events with regard to OBA supporters when an individual or group of individuals oppose legislation or the discussion leading to legislation, just attack the character of the individual because their views are not in line with yours.. wow o wow

      • Mike Hind says:

        You mean like you did earlier today?

        Oh, wait. “It’s ok when we do it”

        I forgot.

  20. swing voter says:

    (1)Fidel Starling?….not surprised as this kid will do anything anti-govt.
    (2)Hayward?….no comment other than he probably got sucked in by Fidel
    (3)Kim? I’ll put him in the same boat as Starling….Kim take a hint from the plumber who went back to work instead of being a political wart
    (4)I don’t know the other guy but he looks like a rich chap that wants to do some charity work.

  21. As soon start calling people losers and rejects because their opinion differs from yours you post loses any credibility. It’s amazing how many people on here preach acceptance, understanding and open-mindeness on the topics of their choosing but then in the next breath shut down other people’s views as soon as they disagree. Double standards anyone? Should we just be understanding and open minded when we talk about gay rights, long term residency and pro-gambling (Just some of the recent hot topics) As soon as you shut down other views with the petty name calling just because you disagree or worse, because you don’t like the person presenting it, you show everyone just how unaccepting and close minded you really are and how you are just willing to push your own agenda.

    • Can’t we all just get along?

      • Indepedent says:

        @ Just my opinion,

        Couldn’t have said it any better.

        I know the OBA’s supporters like to claim many PLP supporters like to drink that Red Kolaid, but I think it’s pretty clear their drink of choice is Haterade.

    • Impressive says:

      so very true,, so very true.. I support gambling, but I also support a referendum so the public at large can have a say on a topic so important and one that will impact us for many years to come..

  22. Impressive says:

    so do you guys still think this is some conspiracy by the plp taking into consideration the members of this group?????????

  23. Impressive says:

    where are all those passionate people that where Stuart Hayward’s best mates when the Southland’s issue was being discussed????

    • Mike Hind says:

      And here we have the salient point and the problem with demagogues like you:

      You don’t understand that folks don’t have to agree on everything.

      I can agree with Stuart on Southlands and disagree with him on this.

      You know why?
      Because they’re two completely different topics.

      • Impressive says:

        duh,, I am aware of that sir,, believe it or not, i have gathered as much.. The point I am making is that, it is amazing how much good things can be said about someone and the way in which one’s position deserves respect when what they are saying supports one’s views/agenda/mindset etc, compared to how their voice seems so meaningless, and their point so ridiculous when one’s position doesn’t support their views.. get me now???

  24. Hmmmmm says:

    Tsk tsk tsk….Stuart, after all that water you carried for the OBA, look at how their blogging team are tearing you apart?! You must feel so betrayed or should they feel betrayed by you? Like all causes united only by a common enemy, once the enemy is vanquished the alliance falls apart. From the sidelines this entertainment is priceless….watching all the OBA scions eating their young is worth the price of the popcorn.

  25. 21 Blackjack says:

    I had guessed the 2 book ends and the bird, can’t say I know the last. None the less TRASH IT.

  26. Terry says:

    This is fun reading emotional responses.
    Give me 20 ‘dislikes’.

  27. LOL (original TM*) says:

    Nonstarter here they promised the people a referendum should have done it at the election. Can we move on to decriminalization please this mist meaner in most countries is causing lives to be destroyed for one mistake with youthful experimentation.

    LOL

  28. No Integrity says:

    So in order to improve their chances of getting the 4000 votes, the organisers of the petition have made it so ANYONE, ANYWHERE in the world can sign it instead of restricting it to Bermuda.
    Where is their integrity?

    • 21 Blackjack says:

      thank you. it’s the only way they could get near that #

    • J Starling says:

      Normally I wouldn’t comment on a thread such as this, but I feel it is important here to address this comment.

      All signatures, be it from the online petition or the ‘offline’ petition sheets making the rounds, will be vetted with the parliamentary register to ensure they are valid, ‘registered voters’ as per the petition statement.

      Just wanted to clear up any concerns regarding that.

  29. jt says:

    Why is 4000 so significant? I would think something on the order of 20,000 should be the goal if they want attention. Especially since it should be signed not only by all opposed to gambling, but also by those for gambling who are adament about a referendum?

    • J Starling says:

      It’s a mistake to focus on the number 4000. I accept full responsibility however for introducing that number into the media.

      I was pointing out that the OBA’s election platform had advocated a political reform to allow the people to trigger a referendum on this or that issue. I was suggesting that a good mechanism for that would be any petition that equals ten percent of the voting population would be a good number for such a trigger (4000 is roughly equal to 10% of Bermuda’s voting population).

      There is no ‘target’ for the petition – the objective is, naturally, to get as many signatures as possible.

      Again, I apologise and take full responsibility for any confusion arising out of my introducing that number into discourse around this petition initiative.

      • jt says:

        Can we be guaranteed that those signing the pettition are registered voters? There seems to be no restriction to even insuring they have anything to do with Bermuda.

  30. WELL DONE TOURISM MINISTER on your leadership ! You and the Premier are to be commended.

    The decision to pass Gaming Legislation in the House is absolutely the right way to go. Furthermore, the chosen model is the right way to go – The Integrated Model i.e. In our Resort Hotels !

    Lets get this passed so HOTELS can add excitement & entertainment for our visitors.

    LETS GET THIS PASSED A.S.A.P.
    Needless to say I will NOT be supporting the “Petition”.

    I am in support of Bermuda becoming an exciting Tourism destination that provides fun and excitement for our visitors, jobs for Bermudians, work for musicians and entertainers, and revenue for Hoteliers and Government !

    • Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

      Mr Brannon, I must say that I truly like the upbeat, very positive energy that your post brings to this debate. You attack no-one, you stay on point addressing the subject-matter, not being subjective and pedantic. Well done.

      Now, I actually disagree with you as the OBA made an election pledge on their political manifesto and they should honour their election promise to the people of Bermuda. At this point of the OBA’s government leadership, they have spent more money on consultants, foreign consultants, than the cost of the referendum, so we, the public, have been hoodwinked.

      As a call for transparency by this government will probably go unanswered, according to their supporter, I would respectful ask the Opposition to ask for the total being spent on “consultants” by the government to date in the House of Parliament.

      That would include consultants to this gaming debacle, consultants to the commercial immigration, consultants to education and consultants from each and every ministry of the Bermuda Government, including those contracted overseas that are NOT living in Bermuda.

      I sure that that bill would be able to put many Bermudians to work rather than having them on financial assistance. It’s peculiar that the government of the day would rather BET on foreign consultants and put bread on their tables than put the resources of the pubic purse into employing Bermudians. If they NOT doing this in the short term, YOU will be marginalised in the long term.

      London, England