Casino License Application Process To Start

April 3, 2017

The Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission has initiated the Casino Application Process for the Island’s first casinos, with the period for filing an application for a casino licence beginning on April 17th and closing on July 21st.

The Notice, as posted on the Commission’s website, said:

Notice is hereby given by the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission [“Commission”] in accordance with the Casino Gaming [Casino Licence Application] Regulations 2017 that the period for filing an application for a casino licence [“Filing Period”] shall begin on Monday April 17, 2017 and shall close at 16:00hrs on Friday July 21, 2017.

An application for a casino licence consists of the following:

  1. Application Form;
  2. Request for Proposal: and
  3. Casino Licence Application Fee.

The completed Application Form, the response to the Request for Proposal, and the Application Fee [in cleared funds] must be received by the Commission by the close of the Filing Period, as set out above.

The Commission shall not be required to consider any application for a casino licence that is incomplete or that is filed after the close of the Filing Period.

Only the owner of a Designated Site or their nominee is eligible to apply for a casino licence. An application for a casino licence can be collected from the Commission at the following address:
Crawford House 1st Floor 23 Church Street  Hamilton  HM 11  Bermuda.

Filing Period

“The period for filing an application for a casino licence begins on Monday, April 17, 2017 and will close at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, July 21, 2017. An application can be obtained from the Commission’s office located at Crawford House, 23 Church Street, Hamilton starting at 9:00 a.m. Monday, April 17, 2017,” the Commission said.

“The Commission began operations in 2015, following the enactment of the Casino Gaming Act 2014. The Act’s primary goals are to increase employment, stimulate investment in Bermuda and enhance the Island’s tourism product. This launch represents the first RFP to introduce integrated resort casinos in Bermuda. The Commission may determine that additional RFPs are necessary in the future to meet the public policy goals of the Act.”

Schuetz: “This Is An Exciting Step In The Regulatory Process”

Richard Schuetz, the Executive Director of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission, said, “This is an exciting step in the regulatory process to ensure we attract bids from those integrated resort developments that best allow Bermuda to advance with its goals and objectives for gaming.

“A robust regulatory regime is being put in place to safeguard the integrity of the gaming experience, oversee those operating casinos on the Island in the future, and to ensure the industry is sustainable.”

Focus On Ensuring Casino Licensees Satisfy Five Key Areas

Mr. Schuetz said the Commission will focus on ensuring that all casino licensees will satisfy the following five key areas:

  • That all owners, operators, vendors, sources of finance and related parties are free of any inappropriate past or present behaviours and/ or past or present associations, and demonstrate that they possess high standards of character, honesty and integrity.
  • That the operators possess appropriate internal controls to safeguard all assets and ensure that robust anti-money laundering controls are in place.
  • That the games offered are fair, honest, secure from manipulation and offer a high level of integrity and security.
  • That all fees, taxes and related payments are appropriately accounted for and paid.
  • That there are protections in place to protect the vulnerable.

According to Mr. Schuetz, applicants should carefully consider if they can meet the test of successfully fulfilling the five areas listed above before embarking on the RFP process.

“It needs to be clearly understood that the suitability examination is thorough, investigating all aspects of the entities and individuals associated with the application,” he explained. “This involves a complete investigation of personal and business associations, the criminal and civil history of those involved in the endeavor, as well as a rigorous examination of the financial history and circumstances of all individuals and entities.”

“The RFP instructions will also outline criteria that applicants must clearly identify in the proposals such as the number of jobs created for Bermudians, how they will go about training staff, their marketing and tourism development efforts, any proposed design or development additions to their resort, among other things,” the Commission added.

“Under the Bermuda Casino Gaming Act 2014, the Commission can recommend up to three provisional casino licences, in addition to the legislatively approved provisional licence granted to the developer of the site located in St. George. In total, there is the potential for four licenced integrated resort casinos to operate on the island, however the Commission is under no obligation to issue all three licenses under its remit.

Three Stages To Regulatory Process

The Commission said, “There are three stages to the regulatory process to secure an operating integrated resort casino in Bermuda.

1. The Designated Site Stage – is where an existing resort or planned development is identified as being eligible to accommodate an integrated resort casino and a site order is granted.

2. The RFP Stage – is designed to screen the proposed developmental and operational plans of those qualified designated sites making an application for a casino license, to determine if they satisfy the public policy goals of the Act. During this stage, the Commission will also assess and rank the proposed business models in comparison to other applicants and integrated resort casinos worldwide. Applicants who are successful at this stage will be awarded a provisional casino licence by the Commission.

3. The Suitability Stage – is where a robust analysis is performed to help ensure that all individuals or entities involved with the project offer the highest standards of character, honesty and integrity; and are free from any past or present inappropriate associations. Only at the conclusion of this final stage will a casino license be granted, permitting the offering of gaming to the public, subject to the final approval of the Commission to open and operate the casino.

Application Fees

“Following the enactment of the Casino Gaming [Casino Fees] Regulations 2017, an application fee of $600,000 must be paid by all applicants for a casino licence. For those successful at the RFP stage and awarded a provisional casino licence a $1.4 million Provisional Licence Issue Fee is payable; and those who make it through the third stage will then have to pay the$1 million Casino Licence Issue Fee.

“For each provisional licence awarded, $150,000 from the Provisional Licence Issue Fee will be provided to the Problem Gaming Council to offer training in problem gambling to treatment professionals, provide marketing and community outreach programmes to educate relevant stakeholders on treatment programmes and other activities specified by the Commission.

“In addition, $250,000 from each Provisional Licence Issue Fee will be provided to educational facilities in Bermuda for the purpose of providing educational and vocational training relating to employment at a casino or relating to gaming generally.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Rick Olson says:

    Be nice to release how gaming revenue will be taxed or if taxed at all and I’d there will be restrictions on work permits so operators can weigh the pros and cons of doing business in Bermuda.

  2. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Legalise Gambling ,and ,legalise drugs,then lelagalise homosexuality.Then step aside.Satan is coming in,,,,,,,,,and hell will be filled with all of you……….and those who follow you.Then Al-Islam will come to bury you ,not to save you.

  3. Private Greed says:

    Why are casino licenses being granted to private individuals? Surely Bermuda, and the community as a whole, would benefit more if all casinos were state owned (although run by private experienced gaming operators pursuant to a management agreement). That way Bermuda, not private individuals, would receive any benefit.

  4. flikel says:

    I fully support gaming, in Bermuda. But I am against casinos being limited only to resorts.
    Why do we have such high barriers to entry? Let’s level the playing field….if an entrepreneurial Bermudian has the vision to open a casino outside of a resort, why should they be excluded? This is not fair.

  5. Joe Bloggs says:

    Oh, the proceeds of gaming will be heavily taxed. That is the whole point. It will not be a panacea to our more than $8 billion in debt (including the pension liabilities), but it should mean that we can meet our debt obligations on a running basis.

    As for employment, I suspect it will be the same old story. Those with a criminal conviction will not be permitted the lucrative jobs, but may still have “back of house” jobs. That will lead to calls of discrimination.

  6. Kathy says:

    We need to disallow Bermudians from entering the casinos – only visitors allowed. This is what they do here in Europe and it keeps the crime levels down that apparently thrive in an environment of casinos.

    Let’s keep our casinos only for visitors!