BCGC ‘Problem Gaming Council’ Appointments

May 2, 2017 | 3 Comments

Five Bermudians have been appointed to lead the charge for problem gambling in Bermuda, after an official announcement was made by the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission [BCGC] last Friday.

Council members include: Family Therapist and Counsellor Dr. Ernest Peets Jr.; Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute Dr. Sharon Apopa; Civil Servant Kevin Monkman and Retired Lawyer Kathleen Keane. Meanwhile, Judith Hall-Bean, a retired civil servant with almost 50 years’ service to the Bermuda Government, was named Council Chairman.

The council will be tasked with the following responsibilities:

  • Ensuring casino operators and their employees are fully trained in problem and responsible gaming.
  • Equipping treatment providers with tools and resources so they are able to offer help for those in need.
  • Educating the wider public on the risks of problem gambling and how best to seek help.

Mrs. Hall-Bean, a former Deputy Head of the Civil Service, previously managed and oversaw all Government departments and was tasked with recruitment, selection, disciplinary matters, retirement and training.

Currently serving on the Juvenile Panel and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, she is active with many Bermuda charities and organisations; and was a member of BCGC’s ad-hoc problem gaming committee for over a year.

According to Richard Schuetz, the Executive Director of Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission, her “wealth of public service management experience will be invaluable” in her role as Chair of the Problem Gaming Council.

He stated, “One of our primary goals, since the inception of the Commission in 2015, has been to ensure that a Problem Gaming Council was established, well before the opening of any casino on the Island. We are pleased to have finally reached this stage in our progress, as it signals we are ready to move full steam ahead with gaming – and are doing our part to create a strong and successful gaming industry in Bermuda.

“Most importantly, we are proud with the abundance of talent, skill and experience that each of these council members brings to the table. They will ensure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to problem gambling and minimizing as much risk as possible to the people of Bermuda.”

The BCGC provided information about the council members themselves:

  • Dr. Ernest Peets Jr. is another strong asset to the council team. With 23 years’ experience in church ministry and over 15 years’ experience in the field of counselling, Dr. Peets has seen the many sides of addiction. He serves as Drug Treatment Court Coordinator with the Department of Court Services, Programme Coordinator for Focus Counselling Service, Family Therapist with Child and Adolescent Services and Executive Director of The Counseling Center.
  • Dr. Sharon Apopa has a wealth of experience in providing mental health services for children and adolescents. She also has a strong interest in the wellbeing of women, which will be “of great importance” to her role on the Problem Gaming Council, said Mr. Schuetz.
  • Mr. Kevin Monkman has held various posts in Government, including serving in the Ministries of Health, Family Services, Social Rehabilitation, Environment, Sports and Education. He has now retired from his position as a civil servant, and currently works as a consultant to the Ministry of Health and Seniors with particular focus on developing cost effective and sustainable long-term care, services and supports.
  • Mrs. Kathleen Sharpe Keane worked for more than 20 years in the field of law before retiring. She will take on the role of Secretary to the Problem Gaming Council.

The Commission is also currently recruiting for a Director of Problem and Responsible Gaming. This individual will be appointed on the advice of the Council and act as the conduit between the Commission and the Council. Their duties include overseeing the accreditation process for treatment providers; managing a gambling hotline and a self-exclusion list; as well as education and community outreach.

For more information on the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission, visit www.bcgc.bm.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Rasta says:

    Are taxpayers paying for this?

  2. PBanks says:

    These guys should be able to get off the ground right away as there’s already a wide array of gambling options in Bermuda. Whether it be betting shops, C&A, guys playing poker or euchre at various places, online services, there’s no shortage of people to poll with regard to the influence of gambling, how to deal with any problem issues, etc.

  3. Aware says:

    Thanks to all for volunteering for this role.

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