Petition Planned Over Referendum Cancellation

January 8, 2014

gambling gaming generic cards 34Following Premier Craig Cannonier’s decision to take the gambling legislation straight to the House of Assembly, a group is planning to launch a petition calling for a referendum.

Last month Premier Cannonier announced that instead of holding a referendum on gambling, the matter will be decided by a vote in Parliament.

The decision resulted in a wide range of reactions, with some praising the Premier for making a bold move while others questioned the decision to not follow through on their campaign pledge.

The group spearheading the petition say they will officially launch the movement tomorrow [Jan 9]. A spokesperson said they are non-partisan and not for or against gambling, they are “simply for democracy and for a referendum on the issue.”

A spokesperson said,”The group is a non-partisan group which is not taking a position on gambling itself; indeed, the group is composed of individuals whose views range from for to indifferent to opposed to gambling.

“It is united simply in the belief that a referendum is the most appropriate method to educate the people about the pros and cons involved, as well as to ensure community buy-in to whatever decision the electorate makes regarding gambling.

“Additionally, as a referendum was promised by both parties in the 2012 general election, to cancel the referendum at the 11th hour disenfranchises the electorate who had a reasonable expectation that a referendum would be held on this issue.

“Essentially, this initiative is about being pro-democracy and ensuring the people’s expectations of a referendum are met, and allowing a democratic educational process to ensure a democractic and informed decision is made by our society on this issue.

“There is no target for the petition, in terms of signatures – the objective is to have as many signatures as possible.

“We will be officially launching tomorrow in the morning, and a website, along with contact information for those interested in helping with the distribution and collection of signatures, will go live at the same time.

“We will begin collecting signatures immediately, and we will also be launching an online petition as we recognise that Bermudians overseas for studies may wish to be involved in this too.

“We would like to stress once more that this is a non-partisan initiative, nor is it for or against gambling. It is simply for democracy and for a referendum on the issue.”

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Comments (95)

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  1. watching says:

    I support gaming, but I also support a referendum. An issue so important as this should allow the public to have their say.
    The OBA government promised a referendum. Premier Cannonier speaks of the Urgency of now. If things were so urgent, they should have begun the referendum process immediately after being elected.

    The people shall have their say!

    • swing voter says:

      so we should hold a referendum on every bill presented to parliament? you elected MPs to make these decisions for you…vote them out if you don’t like it!

      • No just a referendum on the bills that they are to dumb to make real decisions, in our best interest and not just their own interest, and that goes for the who bee pee, pee Al pee and the Ho bee Ey.

        • Human Rights says:

          Good thing civil rights, womens right to vote, abortion, segregation, conscription, freedom of expression/press were NOT put to a damn referendum. ALSO, I am VERY suspicious of these people pushing this referendum that DO NOT want to share their name. Gaming is not “touchy” like gay sex (shall we have a referendum about that!!!!). Why are the folks organizing this “Petition” not proud enough to share their name? Pee El Pee politiking that’s why!

      • watching says:

        Not at all, but referendums are rarely promised either.

        • Hmmm says:

          the people behind this are trying to gauge the public reaction and garner backers before stepping out from the curtain.

          In my eyes, they are mud.

          • Murmuration says:

            It is that starling bie! Still tiring to br relevant!

          • Betty Trump says:

            “A great day to see Democracy at Work. This is People Power at work once again.”

            “You have just destroyed the last of your credibility and deprived the people of Bermuda from having a fair say on a major issue that will greatly impact their lives.
            ‘You have proven yourself to be a weak Government without principle. By taking the matter to the legislature you know that gaming will be supported because the opposition have said they will support it.

            Thereby depriving those who do not support gaming their right to have a vote…very dishonest.” The Hon. Q Edness.

            BEST Chairman Stuart Hayward said his initial reaction was “disappointment with the decision and with the process, and also dismay at the impact it could have on the OBA’s credibility.”

        • Enough Already says:

          and you have never gone back on your word NOT

      • Bie shrow dem biez out says:

        No, they should hold a referendum on Gambling.
        And again No, we did not elect Mps to make the decision of gambling for us.

        Should we exclude citizens from having any say on any bill presented to parliament? Should we then do away with the whole concept of referendums since we in essence elected our own dictators to tell us what’s good and bad for us because they are infallible, according to you?
        See? Hyperbole works both ways; remember that.

        Bie shrow dem bies out

      • No!Only the ones which the governemnt has promised to decide by referendum.As far as electing MP’s to make decisions remember those decisions are supposed to be consistent with pre-election promises. There is absolutely no justification for this broken promise. Absolutely none!

      • Kim Smith says:

        I’m famous for stating the obvious and will do it again here. The people who run as politicians aren’t necessarily the best brains in Bermuda (no disrespect intended) and so until we can get closer to a system that eliminates the political hocus-pocus, we need to have referenda when issues as important as gambling are put forward.

        • Hmmm says:

          So where do they fit in intelligence wise? Are they a cross section, are they mid to upper? What happens if they are more intelligent than 50% of the voting population. By your measure, your method of referenda should be scrapped.

    • I totally agree with your comments and it should be put to a referendum,once the people has spoken and been heard we all need to respect the outcome,regardless if it passes or not.

      • swing voter says:

        you spoke on election day….let the 160K crew work for a living for once

        • Bie shrow dem biez out says:

          That’s right we spoke on ELECTION DAY and we haven’t since lost our ability to speak we are speaking TODAY also. Democracy isn’t limited to a right to vote on election day. You want a pharaoh you’ll have to wait till time travel is invented.
          Yes, let them work with the people for once. The referendum is where the work is. Dictators are lazy.

          • Hmmm says:

            The referendum sets us back a number of years, costs a tonne of money (we don’t have) and turns up the same result a vote for Gaming. What did we gain?

    • Betty Trump says:

      This is indeed a great day in Bermuda to see “Democracy” at work.

      This is such an important issue that impacts Bermuda in so many ways, and the outcomes can be very serious in the long-term. While the short-term benefits might seem very profitable, we must also consider the long-term impacts. I believe that the people of Bermuda must and should have a say in regards this matter that impacts their Island home. This say starts with signing the Petition.

      I am most please with this excise in “People Power”. It is great when a people of a country does not allow a few MPs to make decisions as important as this, but rather pushes to have a say.

      Democracy is alive and well in Bermuda. I hope as many people sign this petition as possible.

      Great way forward !!

      • Enough Already says:

        Betty T you surprise me. Did your party not want gambling?

        • Betty Trump says:

          The PLP always promised the people to that if they have Gambling it would be decided via the way of a REFERENDUM. This has been their word, and still remains the same. When PLP said get it on…they meant, get going with the Referendum.

          • Mike Hind says:

            That is an outright lie. They tried to sneak it though just a few years ago.

            Come on, “Betty”. People aren’t as stupid as you think they are.

          • Sandy Bottom says:

            But Betty, that’s not what Marc Bean said. He recommended the government proceed with no referendum. That’s what he said, Betty.

      • Sandy Bottom says:

        Marc Bean wants gambling. He even opened a shop. And he said he didn’t want a referendum Betty.

        • Betty Trump says:

          “Then the Bermudian voter, armed with an understanding of OBA’s vision for gaming, could have the opportunity to express their opinion by voting in a fair & balanced referendum. Bermuda to work through community groups, unions, schools and churches to demand that your voice be heard on this and every issue affecting our nation–

          by Mark Bean (Bernews article)

          STop spinning Mis-information and lies. Marc Bean article Bernews, clearly outlines his views in regards to people having a say on this issue via a Referendum. Lets not get it twisted to score points only. The reality is the PLP has pushed for the Referendum. By the way Mark Bean’s business is not the same as gambling, if not he would not have a business as such because it is not allowed at present.

          • Sandy Bottom says:

            It’s not me pinning misinformation and lies Betty. Marc Bean needs to read Hansard. He obviously has two different points of view, depending on what day it is.
            His business is gambling. And it’s back o town, so he can make money off the poorest part of society.

          • Bermuda Male says:

            sports and fixed odds betting isn’t gambling?

            So his business guarantees a return for every bet placed?

          • Mike Hind says:

            It’s you that is lying, “Betty”, as usual.

          • Hmmm says:

            Not according to the recorded Hansard….You are talking nonsense Betty.

  2. Hmmm says:

    How does a petition benefit Bermuda and Bermudians?

    Go put your energies into something more productive for people.

    Nobody voted for the OBA for the sole reason of a gaming referendum.

    • Nobody voted for the O.B.A for the sole reason of the referendum, Did you drink so much over the holidays that you forgot that they are the ones in power, and they did win the last election, and if you can make such a dumb comment like this,I really would like to know what comments would be out there when they legalize Mary do ya wanna.

      cheeze man did you see that speaker move, which one. the stereo or the stereo type in the house of assembly,what they lace this stuff with anyway.

      • Hmmm says:

        Can you translate your post ???? Try getting to the point.

        • If you have to ask the question then you won’t understand the answer. Mr. Santucci is obviously employing sarcasm in a way that goes over your head. Don’t over think and maybe you’ll get it.

      • Bie shrow dem biez out says:

        Now, I’m on your side of the argument Duane but just what the hell are you saying here?

        Bie shrow dem biez out

      • pebblebeach says:

        Mr. Duane…With all due respect…Please sit down for a few minutes…gosh…

    • Bie shrow dem biez out says:

      @Hmmm, what are your sources? Are you referencing research?

      • Mike Hind says:

        Apparently, you aren’t allowed to ask that on here.
        Asking people to back up their claims is apparently to be met with derision, racist attacks and outlandish, bizarre ad hominems.

        That’s how it’s been for me, anyway.

  3. Enough Already says:

    I would like to advocate a petition against this one. The govt made a bold decision by reversing their decision. They will still “educate” I am sure. You are NOT disenfranchised, speak to the person you voted for if you need your voice heard. I wait with baited breath to see those “Non partisan for or against” are. Under the assumption this is targeted at Bermudian voters how will they ensure others won’t sign just for the sake of signing up numbers. I am pro democracy but that is why we elect persons on our behalf. If not we will never get anything accomplished. In my humble opinion a referendum wasn’t needed from the get go.

    • Then you start one since you feel that way. But of course you won’t.

      • Enough Already says:

        If I knew how and had the time I would but I am JOB hunting, wanna sign?DS

        • So you can’t start a petition because you are unemployed and don’t know how. Wow! That means if you were working and had even less time then you would not be able to start one then.
          Question: When would it be the ideal time for you EA to start a petition that you have suggested would be a good idea?

          Of course that would also mean learning how to do it.

  4. Unearthed says:

    This is an example of real democracy. I will be happy to sign the petition. I never supported the move of the Premier cancelling the referendum and would feel much better if the majority of Bermuda fully understands how gambling will impact the island. I would like to know how many Bermudians could potentially become employed as a result of passing gambling and what the impact would be in our society.

    The OBA have majority seats so debating gaming in the house wouldn’t be fair to the majority of people especially if the majority have different views than the OBA politicians who could pass it regardless of what the opposition have to say.

  5. swing voter says:

    If think the pre-election promise of holding a referendum was due to ‘political correctness’ but This petition is just plain stupid…we elected our MPs to make decisions for us…if you don’t like it, just vote against him/her next time. Did Ewart hold a referendum or even inform his cabinet when he and Burch circumvented our constitution and immigration laws? For krists sake let it go people and let the island move forward. jeeeeeezus

  6. in the know says:

    Let’s support providing entertainment for tourist & locals, let’s support strating hotel investment let’s support providing jobs by starting hotel development, let’s support havung more fun it bermuda..


    • Soooooo says:

      Although I an neither here nor there on the idea of Gaming, I see the huge advantages influx of investment $$’s into Bermuda. This will result in Construction (jobs), Hotels (jobs), and an increase of the size of the general population of Bermuda.

      All of the above are pluses for the island.

    • Let’s support democracy and hold political parties to what they promise. That takes pre-eminence over expediency any day.

  7. 1minute says:

    I would of liked a referendum, but with Government and the Opposition both on board with it, plus the surveys I have seen, a majority of the people are okay with it. Why waste all that money on a referendum when we are trying to save money. Government workers are already forced to take 1 day a month off without pay. If we don’t get spending under control, next they will have to take 2 days off, then 3….

  8. Truth is killin' me... says:

    This group is nothing but a bunch of pot stirrers! The Government was voted in by a majority. If they fail you vote them out. Stop hiding behind democracy this, democracy that…the people should have a say…blah, blah, blaaaah! Let the Government get on with it you bunch of time wasters!!

  9. Gaming is alive and well in Bermuda already! Seahorses, Paradise betting, Bingo what are you all blind or choose not accept the facts! Believe it or not those are forms of gaming! And who owns Paradise betting!? Hint: Spring Benny!

  10. watching says:

    Lets be real, if this exact scenario was flipped and the PLP was government and Paula Cox had made this decision that Craig Cannonier made, or better yet if Ewart Brown had made this decision, we would have had every special interest group marching and creating petitions. They would have been branded dictatorial, circumventing democracy, silencing the people, etc. Now the OBA does it and these same folks are praising them. Such tomfoolery.

  11. Susie Quattro says:

    So who is this “non-partisan group”? Who is the unnamed spokesperson?

  12. norf says:

    I think a group should start a petition to support the Govt. NOT having a referendum on casino gambling. I’d sign it. Let’s get moving forward. Both political parties are in favour of casino gambling and surveys have shown a large majority of Bermudians are as well. This petition and a referendum are a complete waste of time, money and effort.

  13. agreed but.... says:

    Just a thought… skip on a referendum, make the right decision and vote for gaming in Parliament, and spend the mo ey saved by not holding referendum to help with the social ills Bermuda is currently facing. Also if gaming is to become legal, apply a certain percent of their gains to go toward a social need witihin the community. …end of discussion. ..move on to more pressing issues; jobs!

  14. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    oh goodie goodie,let’s have a March with Drums and Stop the Buses and Everyone sit down on de job too.

    Just freakin’ get on with it!

  15. Cow Polly says:

    Lets have a referendum to decide whether or not to have a referendum! Why are we worrying about something that is common place in so many other vacation spots, just like liquor on Sundays? Lets do something really out-of-the-box and referendum worthy – legalise pot and make a million anyone?

  16. Al says:

    Can we please stop pretending and call it “gambling”?

  17. Lois Frederick says:

    I will not support the petition to reintroduce the referendum.

  18. Context says:

    The same people that want a referendum on gaming are also the same folk who will complain about the cost of coordinating a referendum. Always something to complain about so let’s make decisions first and corrections later.

    Stuck in 1609.

  19. Voter says:

    Plp propaganda!

    • Betty Trump says:

      “A great day to see Democracy at Work. This is People Power at work once again.”

      “You have just destroyed the last of your credibility and deprived the people of Bermuda from having a fair say on a major issue that will greatly impact their lives.
      ‘You have proven yourself to be a weak Government without principle. By taking the matter to the legislature you know that gaming will be supported because the opposition have said they will support it.

      Thereby depriving those who do not support gaming their right to have a vote…very dishonest.” The Hon. Q Edness.

      BEST Chairman Stuart Hayward said his initial reaction was “disappointment with the decision and with the process, and also dismay at the impact it could have on the OBA’s credibility.”

      • Suzie Quattro says:

        Betty, it looks like you want more “people power”. You want the “people of Bermuda to have a fair say on a major issue”. You want to avoid “depriving” people from voting on issues.
        You want as many “voices to be heard” as possible.

        How about this. Let’s propose that anyone who pays taxes in Bermuda gets to vote. That would really improve the democratic process. It would make sure the people of Bermuda get a fair say on issues. It would avoid depriving people of the chance to have a say. A big improvement all round.

  20. Sandgrownan says:

    This is an utterly retarded waste of time. There’s not going to be a referendum.

    Get over it.

    • Betty Trump says:


      Then the Bermudian voter, armed with an understanding of OBA’s vision for gaming, could have the opportunity to express their opinion by voting in a fair & balanced referendum. Bermuda to work through community groups, unions, schools and churches to demand that your voice be heard on this and every issue affecting our nation– Mark Bean

      The people should have a say, in such an important as this which impact the social fiber of Bermuda.

      People must act and stand on what they believe. Decisions of this type should not be made by only a few man on the hill.

      Great day in Bermuda !!

  21. Smh says:

    Good thing the OBA is only in power for 1term!!!

    • Lois Frederick says:

      Oh yes, we are all still longing to go back to the glory days…

    • LOL (original TM*) says:

      Ya hold your breath till the next time the PLP get in…PLEASE……………


    • Mike Hind says:

      Saying that over and over doesn’t make it true.

      You’re starting to look ridiculous.

  22. Bermuda Boy says:

    Referendum, aint nobody wants that!!

  23. LOL (original TM*) says:

    I support this only because both political parties when asked how this would go down both said “let the people decide”. It’s a matter of principal. Also just like to add that I do not think term limits issue is the same as this one. The OBA said they would review term limits for two years with the aim to put something better in place. Then once in power found the stats from the prior administration that did not support term limits in the first place. For me that is review enough why waste time for another two years when the information was there already.


  24. Winnie Dread says:

    and in the mean time investors and potential investors hold their collective breath…..

    • swing voter says:

      nope they won’t hold their breath….they’ll find another jurisdiction to invest in….BDA is too slow to change…just listening to the Taxi drivers response to rental cars was painfull

  25. Kangoocar says:

    Same old, same old from the same empty vessels!!! When will they ever get the fact that there is no more time for talking??? Many are and have been out of work for a long time and we need to do something now about it!!! Many Bermudians are their own worst enemies, these naysayers are the same ones that never took a chance or had the gumption in life too start their own businesses, but continuously complained about their incomes, and those they work for when times were good!! OBA needs to ignore this nonsense and just get on with it, and let’s see if we hear any complaints when many that are unemployed now become employed!!!!!

  26. Bermuda Male says:

    Just please pass gaming.

    We need something radical and different to stimulate our dying construction and dead tourism industries.

    Please do not let this simple politicking distract from the main goal,which is, jobs.

    Or we can keep on trying the same old, played out and failed tactica that have resulted in our current predicament.

    If gaming isn’t passed by a referendum then How do you naysayers and partisans propose we attract the much needed foreign investment to our shores? By telling them we used to be friendly people and that somehow BDA is another world and that we are special? And yes investors will build if gaming is passed. This fact has been reiterated by both sides of the political aisle on numerous occasions.

    Bermudians are just too scared of change and would rather sink the island instead.

    Good luck BDA, because with the current mindset (on this issue and the issue to reduce Govt expenditure) the next step is an emergency IMF loan. And once they get in you all will be wishing that the tough, but necessary decisions, were made by our Govt (either Party).

  27. backbush says:

    just let the people we put in power do the talking for us. i mean they prove all the other bills for us why not this bill. if u all want to sign petition let get one going for the day are mp go back in the house they set this bill going

  28. 21 Blackjack says:

    perfect place for it. File 13. receive it in the right hand , place it in the left hand and drop it straight into file 13. But please don’t litter.

  29. Mike Hind says:

    Do you think it’ll be like before, where the people signing don’t know what they’re signing?

    • Kangoocar says:

      Yup, reminds me of that thankfully former Democrat US congress leader Pelozzi, saying, just vote yes for it and then find out after, what was in the Obacare legislation nonsense!! Her words not mine!!

      • Mike Hind says:

        Any chance of you answering the questions from yesterday?
        Suggestions for reputable news sources, etc?

        • Kangoocar says:

          Getting late Mike, but just remember what I tell you now, Fox. News is the only network that actually has both points of view when reporting and let’s the viewers make the decision, why don’t you try it for a week and let me know what you think??

          • Mike Hind says:

            And now I can dismiss you, as well.

            Sorry, but if you think Fox is even REMOTELY unbiased, you’re the one that’s brainwashed.
            They’ve been shown, time and again, to not only have a VERY strong right-wing/conservative/Republican agenda, but also have a VERY long history of lying outright.

            Fox News is as dishonest as Betty Trump and the rest of them. To say that they show both points of view is baffling, when the opposite has been shown more times than not.

            • Kangoocar says:

              You have been brainwashed from young watching the liberal left leaning stuff, so I have to also say there is no helping you either!! Getting late but I can assure you for every lie you might think Fox has said , I will times it by five with your left leaning nonsense, I will leave you with one, think Dan Rather, ending his career over a big lie with a former president, goodnight Mike!

              • Mike Hind says:

                And I’ll raise you Mr. Rather’s ONE lie with Glenn Beck’s multiple lies. One for one, both fired.
                Then I’ll raise again with Hannity’s constant flow of lies, O’Reilly’s career based pretty much solely on lies. Where are the Hannitys and O’Reillys and Becks on the left?
                There isn’t equivalence. The entire network is a political machine for the right and has proven, time and again, that they will literally say ANYTHING to promote that agenda.
                Fox News is the Betty Trump of America and vice versa.
                I don’t THINK Fox has lied, this is a verifiable fact. And if you think there are 5 time that on the other side, you’re completely and utterly deluded and as blindered as the propagandists on this site.
                I can’t believe you actually think that Fox is a reputable news source. It’s ridiculous. It’s a joke.
                I mean… it’s been banned in Canada because they have a law that YOU CAN’T TELL LIES IF YOU’RE A NEWS SOURCE!

  30. godson says:

    Depends on they ‘word’ it

  31. We the People!! (1st) says:

    How did we get here?

    The entire handling of gaming, by this government, has been deplorable to say the least.

    In 2012, which was an election year, the former government tabled the 2012 Gaming Referendum Act. In 2012 the OBA said a referendum is ‘The Right Thing to Do!’ With that said, the OBA knew in 2012 that gaming would be a significant topic going forward. In 2012!

    The Premier has recently used the phrase, ‘The Urgency of Now.’ If gaming has truly become a matter of ‘Urgency of Now’ it is ALL because of the way this government has handled the issue.

    Since government’s first throne speech in February 2013, they could have hit the ground running with gaming. Honestly, they knew since 2012 that people wanted gaming or at least a referendum on gaming, which they supported. On December 18 2012 the OBA could have started the process internally of discussing how to shape gaming, educate the public, and put it to the people.

    Following the February 2013 throne speech the government could have easily spent the next two to three months holding forums, educating people about the pros and cons of gaming. By June, July , or even August, the government could have held the referendum.

    Now here we are going into the third year (since 2012) talking about gaming, and now a decision will not be made until at least Q2 or even Q3.

    When the Premier scrapped the referendum, people said it was a bold move, he showed strong leadership. No! No! No! A bold move would have been if he made this move back in March 2013, held the vote, and we wouldn’t be discussing this now. A bold move would have to been stick to your word, a bond between what you say and what you do, and hold the referendum. It was almost cowardly trying to put blame on the PLP for making the decision to scrap the referendum.

    I agree with the OBA’s former position on a referendum as — ‘The Right Thing to Do!’

  32. CommonSensenBda says:

    Every individual who signs the “We Want A Referendum Petition” MUST also contribute $20 per signature or DO NOT SIGN.

    The Island was left in a Shiite state by the last administration, which is why this issue was put on the back burner for a year because far more important issues needed to be dealt with first.

    And every time the PLPbiu start crying for THE PEOPLE to be heard, THOSE SUCK ROCKS MUST BE FORCED TO PAY FOR EACH AND EVERY REFERENDUM.

  33. it aint democracy says:

    order in de house. we aint finished talking about weed yet…