‘Workforce Should Start Get Ready For Casinos’

February 28, 2017

Ann Anderson Bermuda February 28 2017 thumbBermuda could have a casino up and running as early as next year – and the island’s workforce should start getting ready, according to Ann Anderson, a US-based human resource expert and consultant, who was on island this week meeting with local stakeholders.

Invited by the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission, Ms Anderson spoke with organisations such as the Bermuda College, Bermuda Hospitality Institute, Department of Workforce Development and Department of Education to inform them of the important part they play in training local workers for the new gaming sector.

According to Richard Schuetz, Executive Director of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission, a strategic plan on gaming is currently being developed and, should everything go to plan, the island could have its first casino in the early part of 2018.

The Bermuda Casino Gaming Act was first passed at the end of 2014. The following year Mr Schuetz was brought on board to carry out a three-fold mission to use gaming “to increase investment on the island, enhance the tourism experience and increase employment in Bermuda”.

“If you open up a casino in Vegas that’s one thing, you can put out an ad to get the word out, but one of the challenges in Bermuda is this is a market that has historically not had legal commercial gambling,” Mr Schuetz explained.

“I asked Ann to come on board because she has more than 20 years’ experience in the human resource sector. We started collaborating in 1991 and together opened seven casinos in a four-and-a-half-year period and Ann headed up those training efforts to get new staff ready and operating at the highest possible calibre.

“In every one of those markets, except one, it was what we call ‘virgin markets’ that had not had gambling before – including Tunica County, Mississippi, which is the poorest county in the poorest state on the map.

“The challenge for training there were numerous. We also introduced casinos to a few Native American reservations where there were high levels of unemployment. Their training went beyond just job skills into life skills as well.”

After getting a call from Mr Schuetz, Ms Anderson said she was “immediately intrigued” and interested in lending a hand to get gaming off the ground in Bermuda.

More than just creating jobs, she believes it will create rewarding career path opportunities for Bermudians.

“One of the things residents of the island have commented on is that within the hospitality industry there seems to be a lot of dead ends,” Ms Anderson said.

“You can get promoted once or twice but then you plateau because there aren’t as many career avenues. Gaming will introduce many different types of jobs that will have new types of career paths for young people or those interested in making a career transition.”

Ms Anderson, who runs consulting firm Practical Leadership, said that while initially experts would have to be brought in from overseas, the goal would be for those guest workers to “work themselves out of the job in five to seven years”.

“When we go into jurisdictions new to gaming, especially considering it is a highly-regulated industry for very valid reasons, you have to be concerned about issues like anti-money laundering, and so the training process is gradual, but there is a lot of room for upward mobility.

“There are a number of jobs and skills from traditional sectors that are transferable to gaming. For instance, if someone worked in the bank as a teller or as an analyst – those skills can be transferred to being an analyst or cashier in the casino environment.

“People with good computer networking and operations skills could easily pick up gaming device computer skills; and those who worked in retail or on the front desk of a hotel could easily transition into a Players Club representative or host. There are also jobs in security.”

Unlike a traditional office job, casino roles offer more fun and upwards mobility, Mr Schuetz said.

“Going from being a bank teller, where you may get siloed there for some time, casinos allow you move around and progress quite quickly,” he said.

“There are also some people who like working different hours rather than a nine to five.”

Malika Cartwright, the Executive Director of Bermuda Hospitality Institute, said they were already looking into training options for Bermudians looking to try their hand in the gaming industry.

“We have the skills sets on island, but will need to utilise outside resources and expertise to actually see this through to fruition,” Mrs Cartwright said.

“Unlike other industries, we have never had a casino in Bermuda before so we need to look at how we can get the best quality training to residents to ensure this is a success.

“We need to make sure the foundation is strong from day one when the doors first open. We don’t want to be in a situation where we have to fix and Band-Aid situations. We want to make sure everything is smooth and in place to offer a world class gaming experience.”

For more information on hospitality training opportunities, visit www.bhi.bm.

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Comments (10)

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  1. We should’ve started since JetGate.

    • Terry says:

      Goback to sleep troll

      • wahoo says:

        ‘member when we gambled on a plp government? We lost our shirts on that one.

    • Know the facts says:

      Onion Juice, which Jetgate are you refering too? I assume you are talking about the one involving Dr. Brown and his ride on Globalhue jet. Fior those of you that don’t know what I am talking about, Globalhue is the same company he awarded the Tourism advertising contract to. Actually, he did it twice – the second time without an RFP and without asking a single other company to submit ideas, proposal or a bid.

  2. Triangle Drifter says:

    Yeah, sure it will be up & running by next year. Heard all of that before. We missed the gaming boat before the 90s.

    Give the clubs & bars permission for machines today & they will be up & running next week.

    In the meantime it will be nothing but more talk, talk, talk.

    • Know the facts says:

      The bars ripped off locals the last time. There were no restrictions, no minimum payout percentages, and only a select few people were allowed to distribute and benefit from these machines.

      The machines were placed in bars illegally and without any controls in place. There was one large house up on a hill “collecting” from these same machines. The police raided these places and removed these machines. The PLP rewarded these same lawbreakers by saying they could continue operating the machines for only 5 years but could not repair them. LOL, what a joke. At the same time those bars that did not wish to break the law, were penalized by this same ruling by being told no new machines could be imported.

      And who says crime didn’t pay. Pay to Play! The PLP way!

  3. sage says:

    With those exorbitant non- refundable application fees and licenses in the seven figures bracket, casino developers will be falling over each other trying to get here.

  4. Good Guy says:

    What is she talking about we won’t see a casino here for at least 5 years and that’s if all goes to plan

  5. Rhonda says:

    Get started learning how to secure a low paying in a bermuda hotel…

    Until wages in hospitality is addressed, we will have the circular argument..

    I predict a bump in bermudians participation,based on curiosity followed by a slow movement back to reality ..With cheaper labour fulfilling these roles..

    Unless again we see a shift in wages..

    • Michelle says:

      Actually gaming works very well with the hospitality sector and many people work in both.
      Just look at Monte Carlo, Monaco and Las Vegas. Also the wages in the gaming industry are much better than hospitality (tips too) and the skills required are more advanced. This could really be something great for Bermuda and give it the edge over the other islands