PLP Suggest Online Gaming To Boost Revenue

March 2, 2014

online-gambling casino computer generic 2123Online gaming is a $35 billion global industry, and Bermuda already has the infrastructure to be player, Shadow Finance Minister David Burt said in the Opposition’s Reply to the Budget in the House of Assembly on Friday [Feb 28].

Mr. Burt said, “It is imperative that we implement additional aspects of gaming besides casinos.

“Last year, online gaming provided over $80 million in tax revenues and directly supported 2,600 jobs in our sister overseas territory of Gibraltar.

“Online gaming is a $35 billion global industry, and Bermuda already has the infrastructure to be player.

“Just as other countries are trying to gain a foothold in some of our industries it is time for Bermuda to do the same.

“For the sake of the jobs it can create and the tax income that can be generated, we urge Government to move forward with creating an online-gaming industry in Bermuda,” added Mr. Burt.

A 2010 report [PDF] from the KPMG International Cooperative, a Swiss entity, said: “The online gaming market represents one of the fastest growing segments of the gambling industry.

The KPMG report said the online gaming market is composed of a number of different types of games including sports betting, online poker, casino games, online bingo and online lottery.

According to the Wall Street Journal, only New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware allow online gambling in the United States, and global online-gambling revenue, driven by betting in Europe, last year reached an estimated $35.4 billion, or more than five times the gambling revenue of the Las Vegas Strip.

New Jersey recently started allowing online gambling, and according to their records [PDF] revenue totaled $8.4 million for the five weeks since its launch in November 2013, which Bloomberg said added $1.2 million to the state’s coffers.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been criticized for overestimating the amount the state would bring in during the first year of online gaming, having anticipated a $200 million increase in tax revenue,  almost all of it from the legalization of internet betting that began in November.

N.J. State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff conceded that was far too high, and now expects a $34 million rise in casino tax revenue for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

Bermuda has been moving towards less restrictive laws as far as ‘brick and mortar’ casinos, with a new allowing cruise ships to keep their casinos open at night while docked in Bermuda passed late last year,  and the matter of amending the law to allow casinos expected to be decided by a vote in Parliament.

In their reply to the budget, the Opposition also suggested looking at regulating and taxing cannabis to increase government revenue.

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  1. Premier: PLP Reply “Dangerous, Irresponsible” | | March 2, 2014
  1. Ringmaster says:

    A 2010 Report from KPMG said online gaming was one of the fastest growing segments of the gambling industry. Why then didn’t the Government of the day trumpet this as the potential third pillar of the economy and lay the groundwork? Now they are telling the present Government to get on with it. So easy to be an Opposition Party.

  2. Loquats says:

    Now we’re talking! If Gibraltar can do, why can’t we? Online gambling has the potential to create real economic growth with none of the social ills that come with brick and mortar gambling. Why aren’t we seriously looking at this?

    • Thumper says:

      Why aren’t we? Because it would harm Bermuda’s reputation as a *legitimate* international business center. End of story.

      Think about it, we have companies here issuing contracts for hundreds of millions of dollars that represent nothing but a promise. Those companies don’t want to be associated with the sort of criminal and mob-influenced gambling that goes on in lesser jurisdictions. There’s a reason re/insurers set-up in Bermuda and not Gibraltar, Anguilla, Indian Reservations, or the various jurisdictions that encourage online gambling.

      • Tommy Chong says:

        I guess you don’t know about the infamous Bugsy Siegel & The Flamingo.

  3. Navin Johnson says:

    sure everyone can rush over to Bean’s betting shop on Court Street for some online gaming…..are people really that stupid? don’t answer that of course they are…..

    • concerned ambassador says:

      Speaking of Mr. Bean’s business venture, I have 2 questions for him?

      *If you are so much about empowering our people, why on earth would you place a gaming room in the heart of the ghetto?

      *If plp were voted in in the next election and you remain leader, how am I supposed to trust and believe that you are going to make the best decisions for my people going forward in regards to gaming. Considering you have a stake in the industry? Wouldn’t this create a conflict of interest?

  4. Tony Brannon says:

    PLP suggest ONLINE GAMING 12 years too late !!
    I suppose I could say BETTER LATE THAN NEVER :)

    So in 2000 when I bought, one of the owners left Bermuda to run an ONLINE GAMING operation in ST.KITTS.

    At around that time I met with Eddie Saints of Cable & Wirelsss who had just built this huge facility to house Ecommerce servers. We talked about Online Gaming. Through my good friend lawyer Julian Hall and approach was made to the then Premier Dame Jennifer Smith and her cabinet about setting up online gaming in Bermuda….

    The answer was NO. No discussion…. NO

    So the gentleman that in St.Kitts is still there 14 years later.
    He told me that the online business did about $ 20 million a month.
    That equals $ 240 million a year multiply that by 14 years = $ 3.36 BILLION….
    So Bermuda draw your own conclusions as to what BERMUDA could have done had we said YES……..

    I will add that Online Gaming is a bigger issue for ADDICTION in BERMUDA that having Resort Casinos……where customers are monitored.

    Ask Benedict Associates if they have encountered people who have drilled out their credit cards and more, whilst sitting alone at home….

    Alcholics: There are more in Bermuda who drink at home ALONE as they wobble to the grocery store and come back to drink alone….. Bars can police drinkers…..

    SO, whilst the PLP may push this, we MISSED the boat – or should I say THEY missed the boat.
    $ 3.36 Billion at 10% tax is $ 336 million
    $ 3.36 Billion at 20% tas is $ 672 million

    The cost to Bermuda because of stubborn myopic politicians never ceases to amaze me…..

    Lets not even start on the $ ! BILLION in Tourism wasted to nearly annihilate our Tourism industry whilst watching 100 hotels and cottage colonies close since 1981

    Lets not even go to EDUCATION $ 4.5 BILLION in 30 years to see a dinosaur system complete with top heavy administration deprive our kids….

    • Kangoocar says:

      I would like to thank you Tony for laying out the facts!! Just another of the many things the plp did wrong in their reign of terror!! It just amazes me how so many can’t see it???

    • Bob Barker says:

      Yes on all counts… I especially like the ‘top heavy’ education elephant!

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Tony does not show up here very often but when he does the guns are blazing & they are right on target.

    • Passive Aggressif says:

      He is telling the truth . I know the gentleman he is talking about and pretty much everything he says here is true.

      HOWEVER, you did leave out a few fact that (lets call him IKE did not know at the time.

      He can no longer fly to the US and is wanted by the US government because his operation provided the means for US citizens to gamble online – which is illegal according to the US Government. Do we want that for our citizens?

      He wasn’t actually involved in the gaming but instead the processing of credit cards used on those sites.

      Not all the 20 million was from gambling. I believe the two biggest sources came from processing cards from online casinos AND online ADULT sites.

      It was a dirty and dangerous business with mob influences and he is no longer involved in it.

  5. Chris Famous says:

    Some folks never tire of tooting their own horn

    • Kangoocar says:

      Truth stings, doesn’t it Chris?????

    • somuchless says:

      Chris you and Betty need a reality check. You two fail to see things the PLP has ignored or done wrong.

      Instead of pulling down the current gov, help them build bermuda back up.

      Thank you, Bermuda.

      • Mazumbo says:

        Its funny how you hear lets work together and help build Bermuda up when you get daily negative remarks about Dr. Brown and P.L.P, never heard this type of talk when they where in power!!

        • Mike Hind says:

          Then you weren’t listening.

          Or you’re lying now.

    • Gotham says:

      At least Tony has something to toot about. One thing you can never accuse him of is running around pretending.

    • Rockfish#1 says:

      People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Right Chris?

  6. haha says:

    “Online gambling has the potential to create real economic growth with none of the social ills that come with brick and mortar gambling.”

    YEAH RIGHT!!! LMFAO…and I have a pig that can fly. If anything the ADDICTION for this/these types of things would skyrocket! No thanks.

    • Loquats says:

      You’re missing the point of what I was saying.
      We don’t target Bermudians for online gambling! We market off island! The internet knows no borders. We look for our customers internationally. International lotteries attract big money (foreign money) that then comes on island. So, we avoid the social ills for Bermudians!

  7. Bermuda Boy says:

    PLP / BIU and of course Famous, Famouss, Famouss, just leave it to the big boys. You had your turn (s) and made a mess of it. If you want to bet, go over to Marc Beans betting shop and place a bet on a winner, THE OBA.

  8. Take it Easy! says:

    Hey Chris since you are here now Don’t u dare tell lies about ME (Bermudian) on Caribbean websites!!! Backstabber!!!

  9. verbal kint says:

    I don’t really know how good an idea online gaming is, but I do think the only reason the PLP keep pushing it is because Marc Bean has positioned himself to take advantage of this change in the law. Were it not for that, I don’t think it would be a part of the PLP agenda.

    • Gotham says:

      As long as everybody else who wishes to set up is free to do so too…

  10. judgment says:

    The PLP needs to stay out of it….just let the OBA fix things and run the government. They know what they are doing. Craig needs to stop flying up and down with our money. Get rid of some of those permanent secretaries and cut down on his cabinet staff.
    Point Blank!

  11. nuffin but the truth says:

    the plp are extinct,just like the dinosaur.

  12. I heart 441 says:

    Im all for this venture. If it keeps the actual presence of people out of casinos and allows people to gamble from the security of their own home, then why not.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Why is that a plus?

      How does keeping people out of casinos help Bermuda?
      How does keeping people out of casinos help create jobs for Bermudians?

      The point of having gaming in Bermuda is to upgrade our product.
      It’s to create jobs.
      It’s to improve Bermuda as a destination.

      How does “allowing people to gamble from the security of their own home” help us?

      • I heart 441 says:

        You make valid points, but what I didnt mention was to have online gambling for locals only.

        Tha casinos should be for tourist only.

        • bermyluv says:

          The casinos wouldn’t work with just tourists only. How many tourists do you see in Bermuda right now? Our tourist season is too short.

          • Mike Hind says:

            That,s one of the reasons we need gaming. It will allow us to extend our season and will be a draw for people… Which means more tourists,

        • Mike Hind says:

          Not sure how this answers my questions, but… Ok?

  13. wondering says:

    What’s this about Marc Bean’s Betting Shop – what gives?

    We are lost as an economic entity. Our fellow countries to the South have capitalized on their poor economies by investing huge amounts. my proud Kittitian friend always boasts in his strong “Kitty-accent”

    “Boy – look at St. Kitts! Annuda ‘uttel’ build again! What ‘uppnin’ in Bamooda boy? Dem can’t keep up up hey”

    He is right and Tony Brannon is right – Myopic Politicians! – cant save the forest for the trees but can argue a b**** of an argument in the Honourable House. We will continue to lose ground as long as we have self serving politicians. they don’t even serve their constituents – just themselves.

    Economic growth is only made by capital projects being undertaken – and that doesn’t mean building a hotel either. E-commerce is evolving and constantly booming. Bermuda get on board.

  14. Chris Famous says:

    So if online gaming is the panacea Tony Brannon is talking about, why is the OBA rejecting it?

    Seems tad hypocritical that you all toot Tony Brannon Horn about the idea, but at the same time reject the PLP suggestion.

    But then again anyone who hides behinds a fake name, is indeed a hypocrite to begin with.

    • somuchless says:

      Please go and do something positive. You are a very negative person. Is there something inside bothering you?

      I demand that the demons leave you alone.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Here he goes again, denouncing folks for hiding behind a fake name… But only if they don’t agree with him.

      You’re a ridiculous hypocrite, Mr. Famouss.

  15. Poor Gourmet says:

    Finally after so damn long, a reasonable and well thought out reply to budget and even SUGGESTIONS on how something might help the ISLAND in general. Is this a glimmer of CO_OPERATION between party politics to actually help the island. Well done Mr Burt, you should be leading the opposition. Thanks for the breath of fresh air.

  16. Tony Brannon says:

    The facts are the facts. I totally wanted the PLP to get ONLINE GAMING for BERMUDA in 2000. I saw the potential, but religious techocrats and part time churchgoing politicians in the PLP could not bring themselves to even discuss it. Maybe, it was because no one wanted to hear anything from a guy that “looked and sounded like Tony Brannon”. Yet my black friend Julian Hall was the one that put it to the folks in charge at the time, as I knew if I was to present the idea, it surely would have gone nowhere. SO, knowing how to “PLAY THE GAME” I had Julian present the idea…..NADA… was pure myopic nonsense, lack of vision.

    You know there are people around, no matter who they are, who just have their heads in the sand. I remember when I offered to a local newspaper back in 2000, the chap (a white guy) in charge said that the INTERNET was a fad…..Damn! Mr Famous likes to have a crack at me, but I am only telling you folks what happened. There was and still is an abundance of cloth heads in Parliament that seemed vacant of mind and totally clueless about “feeling the trends” or taking a risk.

  17. Serious Though says:

    What about developing a real Bermuda business,FISHING INDUSTRY?
    If the government invest 20 million, it will pay itself in less than 3 years create jobs and develop one of the biggest industry in Bermuda .

    The government should commission a research on this issue just like SAGE commission
    Bermudians ask your MP about this

  18. Chris Famous says:

    The bottom line is that online gaming is a plus

    But because the PLP is bringing it forward most of you who hide behind names will outright reject it

    When the OBA bring it forward in a few years the same folks will call it revolutionary

    That is a reality

    • somuchless says:

      Chris for the sake of the people. Stop. It’s getting really boring.

      Grow up.

  19. Tony Brannon says:

    Famous I dont reject it….I embrace it…But lets be clear here, some of your leaders in the 1998 – 2007 era were dead against anything new. As Julian used to tell me the early days of the PLP they out UBP’d the UBP.

  20. Bermuda Boy says:

    Chris Famous,Famouss,Famousss are you a string puller for the plp/biu puppets. You seem to have more to say than Marc Bean.

  21. Bill Stephens says:

    Stop will these wild statements PLP!

    Whoever thinks online gaming is simple and a viable industry is assuming that it is just a fancy webpage. Please do the analysis before you speak as you are leading us down a very slippery slope here!

    On paper, online gaming is a big money maker but that is if you offer cheaper IT than the next country and its not a big jobs maker either as the resources mostly come from other countries too. And its not a regulated industry as many players lose their shirts from less reputable sites.

    Lets face it Bermuda it is far too expensive here to host IT for gaming so we are a gaming consumer industry and not a provider.

    Stop with the “great ideas” posts without the “great analysis” to back them up. Anyone can say “we should do online gaming – look at those byes over there making the $”. But know that those byes are doing things on the very cheap and in a manner that is not consistent with our regulated environment and are avioding taxation and are being chased by Governments for tax.

    We cant keep making stuff up and chasing red herrings. We have to start to do smart business Bermuda! We cant stop people from gaming online but we can tax them and make our piece.

    We know that our Government is already looking to do exactly that so lets get on with it and the people of Bermuda and the PLP should support them 100% instead of making statements that are not founded on solid facts.

  22. Bill Stephens says:

    And stop this cannabis proposal stuff!

    Who is going to want to hire people who come to work (that’s if they turn up) high as a kite? Who is going to want to sign insurance policies with people who are laid back and chillin on the job? What does this do to corporate drug policies where they will have to make an exception for their Bermuda workers and not elsewhere in the world?

    We need to take ourselves a little more seriously and do the analysis and stop with all of these “great ideas” which lack the proper homework.

    If this was easy to fix then we would do all these things. We need to be a little smarter and build something that is sensible and sustainable – smoking pot is not the answer – educating our people is!

  23. bluebird says:

    Man OH Man the PLP are grasping at straws.The PLP have another “BRIDGE” to sell to you.
    The on line gambling already available has already been taken over by “CRIMINALS”

  24. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    May I ask the OBVIOUS question, why is gaming being touted in any form when it is under a very dark cloud of alleged attempted corruption of a public official?

    The legal matter of slander surrounding both the alleged attempted corruption and the alleged reasons why the referendum was scrapped is now being probed in Court.

    The very last issue, Mr Burt, should be any political advancement on this issue that could be perceived as both manipulative and distorting.

    The legislation cannot move forward until there is a clear indication from the Court (as any attempt to bring in online gaming to Bermuda must be covered by legislation, or, if, a referendum is finally called, the people will make that determination), so why advance the matter?

    Many may feel that allegations can be made and its political business as usual, but now it must be proven in Court. Do not put the cart before the wheel, Mr Burt. Do not even give the appearance of circumventing the Court.

    Let the Court make its ruling on the matter FIRST.

    London, England

  25. Tony Brannon says:

    The Resort Gaming Model is the right approach. BUT, I do not understand WHY the OBA are backing the granting of the first license to a new construction build. Unless, a promise has been made to a developer that they will get the first license. Lets hope not !

    In my view, the granting of licenses to resorts (assuming the legislation passes) should granted by the Gaming Commission to whomever applies whether that be an existing hotel, or a new development.

    As for the ONLINE GAMING, we missed that boat, and the truth be told the physical presence in Bermuda is what is needed for tourism, jobs, IB entertainment and something for qualified locals to enjoy!

    I cannot see why the Fairmont Hamilton OR the Fairmont Southampton should have to wait until after a new hotel is built in order for them to have a casino. That is simply wrong in my view. New construction will come IF we pass gaming and also roll out the red carpet.

    Tuckers Point should also position themselves for a niche gaming product: Hi Stakes Poker. $ 50k to sit at the table. That will attract the hi rollers.

  26. Bill Stephens says:

    Agreed – except I dont think the Princess’ will have to wait – I believe that there is 1 license reserved for the new property (which makes perfect sense) and the other licenses go to those properties that make an investment in new jobs and the upgrade of the hotel plant to support a casino.

    But its all about getting Bermudians ready for work by providing solid training programs and then timing for the introduction of the casinos. And when is this “jobs fair” going to happen? I hope it happens soon so we can be ready to work once the casinos come up.

    In my opinion, no one wants to come to Bermuda to see European or other jurisdiction dealers -they will want the local speak, look and feel (Bermuda shorts and Jackets and Bermudians with their unique wit) and that means our entertainment as well – time to give our local entertainers and DJs a chance to impress our tourists and locals alike!

    If we create the energy and get behind the industry then people will come and begin to really enjoy and interact with Bermudians again!

    Let’s go for it Bermuda and the person from London England needs to relax and concentrate on their own problems.

    For the record we are not stupid people and we know the hotels are not mixed up in any organized crime or in bed with politics – in fact they are the ones driving the Government to get creative and to sugget otherwise is just crazy! There is no conspiracy. We need jobs and we need to attract tourists and those locals who want to have fun but try to let them have fun in Bermuda. The referndum would have been costly to us (when we are struggling already) and we all know that we need this new industry to attract investment and to create a new energy in tourism so lets get on with it and stop listening to those who want to wait forever for a consipracy claim result (who loses/ we do!) or for a silver bullet to fix our problems!

    • Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

      Please do not attempt to sucker punch the public with your plea, we are desperate for jobs!

      You have NO alternative BUT to wait…

      No-one is above the law, not even GAMING.

      London, England