MPs Pass Casino Bill In House Of Assembly

December 13, 2014

After a debate that started yesterday afternoon and continued into the early hours of this morning [Dec 13], MPs passed the Casino Gaming Act 2014 in the House of Assembly, paving the way for casinos in Bermuda.

The Act now goes to the Senate, where it should be debated this coming Monday [Dec 15], after which it must receive the Governor’s assent before becoming the law.

Approximately one year ago, the Government announced that they would not hold a referendum on gambling as was initially planned, with the matter to be decided by a vote in Parliament, and last month Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell tabled the 117-page document.

The Casino Gaming Act 2014 — as tabled prior to amendments — follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (84)

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  1. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    The entire Government has finally jumped in bed with …the Devil…!It has been said that …the love of money is …the root of all evil……Govt has been planting the seeds for a long time….along with liquor and drugs ….the circle is now complete…..now you will see the fruit from the tree that you have planted.G-D bless Bermuda and hang on for a …bumpy ride..!

    • Common Sense says:

      I have to disagree with you. This is going to create so many jobs, boost our tourism, decrease our deficit, and more! While I don’t believe in your God or your Devil, I understand your trepidation. But this will do far more good than it will do bad. Our unemployed will be able to get jobs, our resorts will boost their revenues therefore being able to hire even more people and spend money on much needed renovations creating more jobs. More tourists will visit Bermuda and leave more of their money here before they leave! If your worry is about Bermudians having gambling problems, guess what, they already do! I personally know a few that spend their paycheck every week down at Seahorses. It is sad, but you can’t protect people from their own stupidity. The rest of us shouldn’t be held back from prosperity because of their own lack of judgment.

      • Black Soil says:

        Hey Takbir…I’m sure you love your money. I bet you think that you ought to have some of mine.

      • MAKE MY DAY says:

        Wishful thinking!!!

    • James says:

      Sounds like you are in bed with the nanny state.

    • Hmmm says:

      so you don’t believe in money, what do you get when you work?

    • Passed Gas says:

      @Takbir Karriem Sharieff,

      Judging by your comment I assume that you have never played a game of Bingo at the Church Hall, purchased a Raffle Ticket, placed a bet or entered any companies Sweepstakes?

      Just because the have Crown and Anchor at Cupmetch,. should I call all those that participate in Cupmatch heathens?

      I trust that you are one of those people that finds fault in others and never looks in the mirror,

    • Really says:

      You seem to be only complaining because you may have a job. Selfishness is the “Devils” work so maybe your on the wrong team..

    • duh says:

      I see only 3 casinos allowed.. if john swan owns one… lol

    • jt says:

      I think both you and the PLP are having difficulty keeping up with the pace of progress over the last month or so.
      On another note, Marc Bean commented in the house that the OBA were the worst government in recent memory. Can anything he says be taken seriously?
      Fact is, the only way the OBA were ever getting re-elected was to put people to work and put more money in the people’s pockets. It looks like that will be happening and with pristine timing leading to the next election. Mr.Bean and his party know it and they know they have no political tactic to win the next election.

  2. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    More than 117 pages of legislation and it passed without a whimper and in record time.

    Honestly, how many MPs even know what’s in the legislation or even give a damn.

    London, England

    • Portia says:

      I guess it’s just like Obamacare.

      “We have to pass this bill to see what’s in it.”

      • Help says:

        That is so funny. I have been laughing for 10 mins.

      • MAKE MY DAY says:

        ****BINGO****….But that is going to be *OVERTURNED* by the new GOP controlled Congress starting on the 1st of January/15!!! Take it to the bank!!

        • Rich says:

          Yes. Because Obama will sign a law overturning his signature reform.

    • Creamy says:

      You think they sit there in the House looking at it for the first time? They’re supposed to prepare.

      • Melting butter says:

        They prepare after the vote/. Prepare when they get public feedback. By the way, we were always told the churches opposed it. Not a whimper or a sigh from them. Oops……it was Bingo night for them.

        • Creamy says:

          When they sit in the house, they have already has the chance to review the legislation they are debating. That’s the point.

    • Hail Hail the gang's all here says:

      It passed without a whimper because in the coffee room the truth is always told “I am really for casinos.” But when they speak on the floor of the House you get what the public want to hear. So being so conflicted on this one, they got it done in record breaking time and we will see where we are at in 5 years time. We are NOT in the business. Too costly and no entertainment product.

  3. Family Man says:

    That was quick. They must be speed readers.

  4. Oh,I see now says:

    I was anti casino in the past when we were able to hold our own alas those days are gone we need to offer more and get on par with other destination.We must stay up to date and current I don’t want Bermuda is another world turn into Bermudas in their own world.

    I think I will take the red pill Morpheus.

    • Allspice says:

      Whatever you and I think is irrelevant in this case since nobody ever asked. There should have been a referendum but there wasn’t because they were afraid that they would lose. It’s a PLP style tactic. Basically the people only get to choose when government feels sure that they will get a favorable result. For this reason you will never see a referendum on this island ever again because it is not politically expedient.
      Screw the public. They are too stupid to know what they want.

  5. Bill Stephnes says:

    You need to get behind this viable industry option for our guests, workers and for our economy. It is people like you that rant and rave and shake the Bible trying to equate gaming to the “Devil” and citing liquor and drugs – no one is advocating drugs here!

    The truth is the Devil is in your heart and by accepting him he is reflected in your words – so deal with that and be happy for those of us who can finally earn a living from this new industry!

  6. spoons says:

    Good news for Bermuda. A definite step in the right direction. Jobs, revenue, tourism. Along with the Americas Cup this will completely rejuvenate the island.

    • MAKE MY DAY says:

      I’m afraid to say….Don’t count-your-chickens just yet!!!

  7. Jeeves says:

    All this means is that a lot of Dumb*** Bermudians and residents will lose their shirts, 80% of the revenue will be domestic based, the experts know this and that’s what they want, it’s not the tourist dollar but the same dumb*** Bermuda dollar that those muppets pumped into the machines on front street.

  8. Common Sense says:

    This is great news for Bermuda, I hope that it is passed by the Senate and approved by the Governor. This is going to boost our tourism, create jobs, and increase our revenue. In the last few months Bermuda has been making huge strides to improve our economy and improve the quality of life for all Bermudians. Thanks OBA!

    • sebring says:

      althought it may seem as good! i was also witnessed people spending their rent money,pay check etc on gaming., so to put it short the good must out way the bad! self control y the key to good fun ! i enjoy Casinos and hope they bring in some good entertainment too!

      • Common Sense says:

        There are Bermudians that spend their paychecks on gambling at Seahorses already. You can’t protect people from their own stupidity, the rest of us should not be held back because of a few with poor judgment.

        • Varied says:

          on that note, they should allow the poker associations to continue as normal as well.

        • Hmmm says:

          Or at Marc Beans gamble shop. Not much of a fuss from people onthat.

          Gaming you pay to play….the money spent you expect to lose for the enjoyment of playing. If dor some bizzare reason you win some, well that is just a nice bonus. Never gamble to win. Gamble to play.

      • Kathy says:

        Yes, casinos are o.k. but in other parts of the world they allow the tourists to partake but NOT the locals. I hope this will be the case in Bermuda! We don’t need casinos running away with our money!

        • Hmmm says:

          Kathy, stop mothering people.
          We the people can make our own decisions.

        • PBanks says:

          While I’d be all for restricting people who are in arrears on child support or similar kinds of debt from partaking in casino gambling, you shouldn’t block someone from doing what they want with their own money.

    • Zario says:

      While I agree with the passing of this bill, I don’t think that it will be a panacea for our tourism problems. I look at it as another amenity.

      • Cafe Au Lait says:

        Zario I think you are correct and anyone who thinks this is the answer to all out problems is a fool IMHO. But a worse thing would be to do nothing instead of adding this amenity.

        Bermuda is decades behind in many ways – and this just might help to bring us out of the dark ages.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Completely agree, this is merely an addition to our tourism product, and how we as locals can benefit will depend on how the establishments choose to run their shops. We will only really see any real job creation out of this if they set up full service casinos, and not just gaming machine rooms.
        The fact remains that the underling reason for our difficulty to be competitive as a tourism market, to other markets elsewhere in the world lies with our higher wages. The least skilled worker in our hospitality industry here can make anywhere between 5 – 10 times more than many other jurisdictions that we compete with, so there really is no way to be able to compete on room rates with them. Since our higher cost of living means lowering wages is out of he equation, then it comes down to how we market ourselves, and casino gaming marketed right could provide a boost. If it isn’t marketed right or not a all, it really won’t do anything a all.
        While I don’t agree with barring locals, I think they should be conducted as a guest only access at the hotels, meaning any local looking to gamble will need to get a room. It would even be beneficial for the hotels to find a way for that access to be spread to other hotels or guest facilities through some sort of access card agreement.

      • ROGER LAMBERT says:

        TRUE ZARIO, A NEEDED PANACEA

  9. Scott E. says:

    Good morning Bermuda am interested in what domains are owned that have to do with gambling in Bermuda. My name is Scott E. and I am heavily involved in a corporation that is looking to partake in this new investment opportunity. Great things are happening all around the island as we can see with the recent development opportunities that are coming with the Americas Cup being announced. Bless you all.

  10. Bout damn time…… Jeesh. 30 years late huh?

  11. 2 Cents says:

    This is a great step for Bermuda despite the fears of many. What will make this a success for the island is continued appreciation for the potential problems that will arise and keeping safe guards in place for the community. Its bound to have some fallout for some people but the greater good will be served for the island as a whole.

  12. Nigel Spider says:

    Damm OBA doing their thing!!!

  13. Great News says:

    This is great news! How long until we hear from the tree hugger guy that complains about everything?

    • lucky 7 says:

      Ha! Ha! soooo funny! He’s prob writing an ‘opinion’ piece as we speak. Enjoy your Saturday night “tree hugger guy that complains about everything!”

  14. Cafe Au Lait says:

    This is good as it means we will be able to compete as a tourism destination once again. It has taken far too long to do this, and the process has been delayed by people who have an invisible magic friend who lives in the sky.

    These same people would rather sit and ask this imaginary friend for help – rather than actually do something.

    In other words: do nothing.

  15. “The way of progress is neither swift nor easy”.
    Marie Curie
    Kudos once again One Bermuda Alliance and them from the Progressive Labour Party that had helped in bringing this forward as quickly as they’ve done.

  16. Take a Chill Pill says:

    Everyone is Blind to what really is gonna take place, when we build all this new instructor, think about how can we use it in the long run. Have you seen what has happened in the 2008 Olympics in China Beijing , the facilities are now run down and deserted, How can we assure that after this event, all that we have built will not go to waste?

    Also instead of looking for a Quick buck, how about investing your money into the casino rather then gambling it away, let your money flip on the ones who wanna make the quick buck,

    You better hope OBA stays in power because it would be some confusion IF the PLP take over the house.

  17. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    The smell of quick money permeates the atmosphere….senses are reeling with illusions of getting rich quick..visions of success at last dances through their heads….the dream suddenly pops……and the nightmares of reality roll on in…..fasten your seat belts ..oooooh what a tangled web we weave …when once we practice…to deceive…! Get ready for the bump…!

    • Common Sense says:

      I often agree with Takbir but on this issue I strongly disagree with his point of view. No one can seriously expect “quick money” pouring out of the gambling operations, nor will they be a panacea for our economy, but we have to provide a variety entertainment for visitors, and this will be one extra string to our bow and will also provide some additional employment.

      No one is trying to deceive anyone here. Both of our political parties have supported the concept of having some casino gambling in Bermuda and it is plain wrong to suggest that this is “evil” in any way.

      Sorry if someone else is now using my nom de plume “Common Sense” which I have been using for several years. Perhaps Bernews can advise who has been using it longest, and I would be happy to change if it is not me. However, it seems that the other “Common Sense” writer shares many of my opinions!

    • lucky 7 says:

      dude, open your mind!! You’re so stuck in your bubble, so sad.

  18. Familyman says:

    While in Atlanta one casino after the other closes, we think any person of wealth would come to Bermuda to gamble. The opposite will happen. Shady characters will come and the ones who used to treasure Bermuda’s tranquility and peacefulness will go somewhere else. Crime will rise as desperate gambles will need money constantly and some casino owners and politicians who give out licenses will get rich. A few will find a job, while families will go homeless.

    • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

      ACCOUNTABILITY!!…cased closed. If YOU cannot CONTROL YOUR LIFE or your ACTIONS, then it is YOUR problem not anyone elses…that why if YOU steal, lose your job or family…the consequence is YOURS once again not mines. Stoptheblamegame.com

    • Cafe Au Lait says:

      Just because some badly run casino closed in Atlanta is no reason for us not to open one or two here.

      I’m sure some restaurants have closed in Atlanta too. So should we stop eating?

      Your comment doesn’t make much sense.

  19. Familyman says:

    I meant Atlantic City

  20. js says:

    the OBA are the true gamblers

    if they win the next election then the Gaming Act will be deemed to have had majority support

    if they lose the next election then it will be deemed to have had minority support

    is the hope of new commercial development really worth the political gamble to not hold a referendum

    one thing that can’t be denied about the old PLP government is that they were afraid to roll the political dice when necessary which is probably why they hung on for as long as they did

    at least Bean & Co. seem to like to take the occasional roll

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      You are missing an important fact about a gaming referendum, the majority didn’t want one. Despite the repeated claims that the OBA don’t listen to the people, they heard this and we’re confident enough in the feedback they were getting from the people to go ahead and drop that platform promise. In doing so, they saved Bermudians thousands of dollars in an unwanted referendum.
      As for the PLP rolling the dice, their not in government, they can afford too. And so far what we have gotten has been proposals in the house that are lack luster, not well thought out, lacking in required substance and falling short of the required marks and they seem more intent to put these forward for political points than public interest. Cases in point; anti-conscription bill, cannabis bill, the housing inquiry and their latest interest rates adjustment and May 24th amendment.
      I will admit, when it come the the May 24th, I am in an agreement to a degree. My proposal would be that we keep the set holiday date, but that we break up the events running the derby on the holiday and the parade the Saturday or Sunday before or after the holiday date. Where the holiday lands on the weekend days we have the Friday off for a 3 day weekend. In having the parade to a day, we can start it earlier and allow more time for those involved to recover after.

  21. Coffee says:

    Now whaa done it !

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

    NOW! legalize that ganja like NY did last week.

  23. tom cooke says:

    While I am not botherd at all by the casinos coming here, I work to hard for my money to waste it in such a way. It will give the island another string to its tourism bow.. and like another poster said some decent entertainment. .. bring back the follies. .. then we will be talking… and I will be more than happy to build while not them all maybe a couple of em..lol.

    • Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

      I’m neither here nor there about the casinos, as I doubt they’re going to do much other than adding another option for tourists.

      But I have to say a huge heck no to anything like the follies. That introduction marked a huge demise in local entertainment and we need to promote our homegrown artists. We’ve got some great ones.

  24. Pundit says:

    Hamilton Princess,Southampton Princess and who is the 3rd gaming license going to?

  25. foolishness says:

    If casinos in Atlantic city are closing what makes this government think that casinos will thrive. If people in America will not drive 15 minutes to gamble why would they jump on a plane to fly to Bermuda to gamble ..

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      You miss the point don’t you. It has been acknowledged over & over that gambling is not going to be the almighty saviour of Bermudas tourism, just as nobody goes anywhere just to sleep in a bed that is most likely not as comphy as the one they have at home.

      Like the hotel pool, bar, spa, golf course, beach, any other onsite activity, the gambling will be another revenue point to make money on. The guest uses it or not at their choice.

    • Coffee says:

      We are special .

      • MAKE MY DAY says:

        That is what everybody says about their own Island in the Caribbean!!!

    • Rich says:

      Atlantic City is a different kettle of fish. They had a very permissive, laissez-faire environment where anyone could set up shop and which led to over-saturation of the market. Bermuda’s legislation will only allow up to 3 integrated resort casino licences presumably because this is the maximum that our market can support.

  26. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Common sense …if someone steals your identity under your nom -de- plume…maybe you should try revealing your true name ….then you can prosecute them under the law for impersonating your identity….but …maybe that’s too much to ask of you ..! Is that your knees that I hear knocking or is it your teeth chattering….or maybe its the sound of heels clicking away in the distance at the very mention of this option…oh well some would fly under the radar….!It is your right of freedom of choice that real people won for you…….under the Freedom of Information Act……..

    • aceboy says:

      Are you talking about PATI? The proposed legislation that was passed but never enacted by the PLP? Don’t make me laugh. Were they the real people who kept using the excuse “It is immoral but not illegal?” Yet here you are talking about morality?

  27. kindley says:

    Big mistake.

  28. It is also alright to be yourself and be happy.

  29. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    @Portia and Help

    If you know anything about American politics, essentially about the healthcare plan known as Obamacare, then you would know that the person who initiated and started the public hearings working towards drafting the legislation was Hillary Clinton.

    Mrs Clinton as the First Lady (Democrat) attempted to fulfil her husband’s election campaign promise to provide affordable healthcare to the most vulnerable and/or least able in the US.

    The Republicans were strongly against Mrs Clinton taking on this high profile role as their major criticism was, “she was never hired to run the US, Bill Clinton was.” So, she was forced to abandon the healthcare initiative during her husband’s years in office.

    But the Democrats, especially John Kerry (now Secretary of State) and the late Ed Kennedy never lost sight of this worthwhile goal on behalf of the most vulnerable in the US.

    The Democrats again brought this initiative forward when both Kerry and Kennedy backed Obama as the Democratic candidate for president, and although Clinton ran against Obama and lost the nomination, she gave both Obama the legislative framework as he took the credit ‘Obamacare’ and carried it forward to become law.

    So, how long did it take for the draft legislation to become law? Did the Democrats hold widespread, transparent public hearing on healthcare in the US? How long did it take in both Houses as the Republicans went through line by line of legislation as they worked, agreed, disagreed, compromised, amended, etc before it was passed into law?

    Certainly not passed without a whimper as this Gaming Act was.

    I once worked for the US Consulate General in Bermuda, and unlike the Honourable House of Parliament in Bermuda, the Americans take their legislation seriously and would not think to ‘wander aimlessly through legislation without a second thought’ of the foreseeable consequences to the American people.

    And as there will be most likely rebuttal from the masked critics who will claim me to be a ‘pathological liar’ about working for the US Consulate General in Bermuda, please feel free to call and confirm.

    @Help – please take the time and opportunity to ‘die laughing’ about the integrity Obamacare.

    • Creamy says:

      They’re paid to read it before they vote on it, and if it’s 117 pages there is no reason why they can’t do that.

    • MAKE MY DAY says:

      Odummercare will be *OVERTURNED* by the new GOP controlled Congress starting in January/15!!! Take it to-the-bank!!

    • Rich says:

      Actually, what Hillary Clinton proposed in 1993 was very different from what the Affordable Care Act sought out to achieve. The crux of it is the employment-based insurance mandate, which is a free-market solution that draws direct inspiration from Nixon’s proposals in 1970s, and which were eventually repackaged by the Conservative-leaning CATO institute and enacted in Massachusetts under Mitt Romney. The Clinton plan went far beyond the enforced mandate and would have required insurance to be provided through heavily regulated HMOs. What the US has now is actually not all that dissimilar to what Bermuda has under the Health Insurance Acct 1970 (though we are not as generous in subsidizing middle class subscribers as the ACA is).

  30. Canadian opinion says:

    I think this is great. Lots of jobs, great for tourism, make the island prosperous once again

  31. ROGER LAMBERT says:

    I’m happy it has passed this leg of the journery. I’m sure the Senate will pass it too, maybe a little tweaking. BDA can have International Poker Tournaments here, broadcasted over ESPN etc. making Revenue, more jobs, income for the average Person & Business. This Gaming offers another form of Entertainment for Tourist & Maybe Locals, them under certain rules & restrictions.

  32. True Bermudian says:

    Shame on you Bermuda.

  33. say it aint so says:

    Now all the out of work Atlantic City workers will get jobs. I know someone, married to a Bermudian, who came here just to work for the casinos. His wife too. They were waiting for this.

  34. Dark Star says:

    How many Bermudians who want to work in the industries they are qualified to work in are actually out of work???

  35. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    Oh My, Creamy…

    Who could you be referring to?

    Bermudian? Home?

    London, England

    • Creamy says:

      He said “a Bermudian came here”. I assumed “here” means here, in Bermuda. A Bermudian came home to get a job in a casino.
      What did you think it meant, over there in the UK?