Terry Lister: ‘Bill Will Enhance Cruise Experience’

October 1, 2013

casino generic ggThe Bill permitting cruise ships to open their casinos in port will bring more money to the Government, increase the profitability of the cruise lines and enhance the cruise experience thus making Bermuda more attractive, Independent MP Terry Lister said.

Last month a bill was tabled in the House of Assembly that would allow cruise ship passengers to gamble at the casinos on board cruise ships while they are docked in Bermuda.

The legislation would allow casinos to be open from 9pm and 5am while in port, and would only allow passengers to gamble.

Mr Lister said, “Tomorrow Parliament will debate a Bill drafted with the intent to allow cruise ships to have their casinos open for gambling while in port.

“This has never been allowed in Bermuda before as the Government has always wanted to encourage cruise passengers to leave their ship and to explore Bermuda nightlife. This had worked to some degree when the cruise ships were docking in the Town of St George’s and the City of Hamilton.

“However as the cruise ships got larger and the home port became Dockyard the passengers were less inclined to leave the ships after dinner. In the last few years Wedco, working with the Chamber of Commerce, has provided entertainment to entice the passengers off the ships unfortunately only small numbers have come off.

“The cruise lines have stressed that their normal profit formula is based on three revenue streams. These are the cabin price, the revenues from shore excursions and the money earned from sales on board the ship. Sales on ship include sales in the many shops, beverage sales and, most importantly, the money earned in the casinos.

“The fact that the casinos are closed while in Bermuda ports has reduced the profitability of the cruise lines. However the comparatively less profitable returns have not been sufficient to discourage the cruise lines from choosing to be in Bermuda. The decision of NCL to bring the Breakaway to Bermuda was a significant positive statement for Bermuda.

“The decision to table, debate and pass this Bill means that the Government will earn a considerable sum from the cruise lines. There are those who believe that the Gaming Referendum should have been dealt with already and there should be a casino at Dockyard thereby allowing gaming on board the ships unnecessary.

“However the Referendum is months off and the outcome is unknown at this point. So rather than waiting, the Government has taken the decision to move ahead. I support this decision.

“In fact, I asked the Minister of Tourism on the floor of Parliament back in March to bring this Bill. This will bring more money to the Government, increase the profitability of the cruise lines and enhance the cruise experience thus making Bermuda more attractive,” concluded Mr Lister.

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Comments (18)

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  1. Vote for Me says:

    Not so fast MP Lister

    What data exists that has been shown to the public that explains the increased revenue to government? Also, there is a strng possibility that whatever incentive exists to get the tourists off the ships now will be completely lost once this bill is passed.

    Has there been any attempt to offer later fast ferry services to Hamilotn and Possibly St. George to make it easier for teh tourist to get back and forth in the evening.

    As we all know, sometimes haste makes waste!!

    • Portia says:

      Indeed. While I personally have no problem if cruise ships passengers want to gamble on board, this initiative shows a lack of forward thinking -

      “However the Referendum is months off and the outcome is unknown at this point. So rather than waiting, the Government has taken the decision to move ahead.”

      And if the referendum passes, and gambling can now ben allowed off ship, then what? You will have cruise ships casinos in direct competition with the local casinos! This is the precise reason why other jurisdictions DO NOT allow casinos open in port.

      Does the Minister think that the cruise lines will be happy then, at being told they must now shut down casinos? Or that the local casinos will be happy to share revenue with the ship casinos once they open?

      Do these guys who approve this stuff even think at all?

      • Curious says:

        You cant change the Ferry or Bus schedules… the Union wont let you

      • somuchless says:

        Portia, it’s been mentioned over and over. You can’t put bermuda in the same class as other places. Remember 95% of cruises that come here are overnighting for one, two or even three nights. That’s the diff.

  2. Hmmmmm says:

    How did you and Dennis vote in 2009? I hope this isn’t the latest in your continuing bout of political amnesia.

  3. Rick says:

    All ships sail to Bermuda full why are not opening our own casino in Dockyard ……. And else where ? We need to enhance our own product NOT the cruise lines.

    • Ben Dover says:

      Rick, have you been to Curacao, St. Maarten or Antigua and seen the crummy little casinos they have there? Downright depressing. Bermuda simply does not have the resources or infrastructure to support a Bellagio or a Palms or a Mandalay Bay. I was glad to see the end of the crappy “gaming rooms” at The Beach and The Squire. There is no way it can be done right, and would just further debase the already mediocre tourism product.

  4. My Kind says:

    Rick: It doesn’t fall in line with our ‘wait and see’ policy. Its a close relative of the ‘put it on the back burner’ policy, and the ‘no need to act now’ policy.

    Bermudians are famous for their inaction. They’ve never really had to do anything. But now that they have to actually come up with a plan and compete with the real world, they’re completely stumped.

    You can just see them in parliament now:

    “I propose Mr Speaker that we immediately do nothing”. Motion passed!

  5. Robert says:

    Mp lister, weren’t you one of the plp ministers who voted against the very same bill when dr.brown tried to get it passed ? !

  6. JUSTIN FRANK says:

    Do cruise ships not dock in Hamilton or St. Georges any more? Dockyard is the main dock point for the mega ships, am I correct? I see cruise ships in town and st. Georges. Mr. Lister, how long has this thought been on your mind?

  7. JUSTIN FRANK says:

    How will it enhance cruise experience if it already exists?

  8. For real says:

    So what happens to the many locals who will need jobs and the hotels that need the revenue that will keep are people employed?

  9. JUSTIN FRANK says:

    @ for real. What jobs are you refering to?

  10. My Kind says:

    Hey I just came up with an idea, and I bet nobody has ever thought of it. I mean, its a big one and I just bet nobody else has had this idea:


    However, I bet that Government decides to put this on the back burner. Take a ‘not just yet’ attitude. ‘Let’s wait and see’ might be another approach or else ‘not in the public interest’.

    Anything to avoid actually DOING SOMETHING!!!

  11. JUSTIN FRANK says:

    @ my kind. Do you know confucious?

  12. JUSTIN FRANK says:

    @ my kind. You ‘built’ a casino in bermuda?

    • My Kind says:

      Ha a slip of the keyboard. I meant ‘BUILD A CASINO IN BERMUDA’. Unfortunately that means our Government would actually have to DO SOMETHING about the problem. As I’ve said before they will continue to do absolutely nothing and wonder why our tourism product is in the toilet.

  13. Rick Olson says:

    Ben Dover should we get out of the tourism business if we are to small to do it right. It seems like all the developers are crying out fr a casino license ? By the way the revenue that we will collect from the major cruise lines will be a tiny percentage on what the crappy gaming rooms made.
    I see no reason why we can not build a 1,000 room hotel with a full casino that could employ over a 1,000 people . We need to be relavent in Tourism and get back on the map and a high end branded resort is the best way IMO.