Opinion: Starling On Casino Gaming Poll Results

June 6, 2014

While the poll results will no doubt be taken as evidence as support for the Government’s decision to go back on its election promise of a referendum on casino gambling, it’s important to note that:

  • - (a) The figures are very slight when one takes into account the margin of error; and
  • - (b) We’ve yet to have a full discussion of the pros and cons – the true costs and benefits – of introducing casino gambling.

On the latter note, the Government has not released the full report on casino gambling [by the Innovations Group I believe] nor have they fully articulated their vision of casino gambling and what steps they will take to mitigate the expected negative consequences of introducing it.

Nor have they articulated a back-up plan should the introduction of casino-gambling fail to facilitate tourism, and what else can be done for tourism. Even they accept that casino-gambling – even if it works – will not be a magic bullet for our tourism industry, and as such we need a wider discussion on tourism initiatives.

One key reason why both parties ran on an election promise of holding a referendum on casino gambling was that it allowed for these issues to be fully thrashed out – the process itself would be educational on the issue – allowing for an informed position on casino gambling to be taken by the electorate.

Additionally, a referendum helps ensure stakeholder buy-in.

While these polls indicate a slight majority in favour of casino gambling now, a large minority are opposed.

By ditching the referendum almost half of the population has been alienated and denied a say, despite having been promised one in the 2012 election.

To many this may appear as a form of fraud – the electorate was sold one vision and, after the election, found out it was all a lie.
Sadly, if the OBA had actually done what they promised in 2012, we likely would have had a full discussion on the pros and cons of casino gambling and held the referendum by now.

Instead, due to all the shenanigans involved – including using public monies to devise a strategy to dupe OBA members and MPs themselves and manufacture a reason to ditch the referendum – we’re still not clear what casino gambling would involve, the OBA’s created, by its own hand, a huge trust deficit and we’ve seen a Premier and an Attorney General resign in disgrace while questions remain about the handling of Jet Gate, the Club Med RFP and the ditching of the referendum.

It’s not a good look.

Ultimately, as interesting as the poll is, due to the lack of a full articulation of the casino model and its pros and cons [which a referendum would have allowed], it’s impossible to make an informed choice for or against casino gambling at this time.

Pro-casino advocates largely have a vested interest in seeing casinos introduced and, as we’ve seen with Mr Landow, they’ve got money [and all too often monies allegedly associated with the mafia] to spread their propaganda. Which has no doubt skewed the results.

In light of the above, I would find it inappropriate to use these results to defend moving ahead with casino gambling without reintroducing the promised referendum on casino gambling.

- Jonathan Starling ran as an Independent candidate in the 2012 General Election and has been involved with the petition calling for the Government to have a referendum on casino gambling.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Hmmm says:

    Sound like a bitter loser to me. Sounds like the OBA ultimately has followed the will of the people regarding the referendum issue, your petition proved that.

    Now how about adressing the Marc Bean and children issue…I would say that is the biggest social issue. Whether a MP and leader of a party endorses use to treat asthma, claims to have cured Asthma should resign.

    Mafia????? Today !!! What are you on?

    If they were, wouldn’t you be gone by now????? absolutely ridiculous.

    Shown that you are living in la la land with this article….

    • Sand says:

      Actually, requiring the government to fulfill their promise to hold a referendum is totally rational.

      Wanting a real discussion of the issues is totally rational.

      Wanting to go forward with large public support instead of the usual tiny margins defined by party politics is also totally rational.

      Just saying.

      • Hmmm says:

        But the petition says no need re: the Referendum

    • LMAO East West says:

      How does all this go on and there’s not an outcry for PMD to apologize to the woman he associated the “eff” word regarding her advocacy to garner support for the promised casino gaming referendum? Shame on the women who think that’s ok for a white man to dishonour a black woman.

  2. I’ve read some trash in my life,but this and Narc Bean’s Ganga Tea tie for top of the list.

  3. Hmmm says:

    Whilst we are at it, why no opinion on the COH activies?

  4. I have read that a developer would like to built a resort, with casino at St. George. This proposal includes only 236 rooms. On Paradise Island, Resorts International had over 2,000 rooms in the 1970′s, and Atlantis today an estimated 5,000. And all are located within a few minutes of the casino, theater and restaurant complex. The St. George location is too distant from the other accommodations on the Island, to generate enough revenue to operate profitably. A casino in St. George, supported by such a small hotel will resemble a Puerto Rico casino where every small property can have gaming. I checked 5 booking sites, that promote Bermuda vacations. Trip Advisors and Fodor’s listed 29 properties each and Expedia 23. Bermuda’s official site included 50 resorts and Frommer’s 40, that also included the number of accommodations at each, totaling 2,456 rooms. To truly boost Bermuda tourism, you need a casino closer to the existing room inventory, 1,306 in the central Parishes of Paget, Pembroke and Hamilton; and another 744 in Southampton, representing over 80% of the Island’s rooms and 60% of the resort properties. St. George has 2 existing resorts, one, the Mid Ocean, a private club. The only advantage to a St. George location is its nearness to the airport, which is only beneficial if you are promoting casino flights from mainland North America, for patrons who do not spend the night. Freeport, Bahamas once promoted these flights from Florida and other Eastern states, but in those days there was no legal US gaming outside of Nevada or Atlantic City. But for Bermuda, most nearby Eastern US or Canada cities already have casinos nearby, so an adjacent airport has little added value for a St. George casino. If done properly, with a variety of dining and entertainment options, a casino could meaningfully help Bermuda tourism, as I expect the Innovations Group indicated.

  5. aceboy says:

    Socialist love to spend money….other people’s money.