Casino Gaming Commission’s Trip To Las Vegas

July 14, 2016

Alan Dunch, Chairman of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission, provided information on the costs associated with a trip made to Las Vegas in September 2015, as well as some of the activities and meetings that took place.

Mr Dunch said, “I travelled to Las Vegas with the Commission Executive Director Richard Schuetz on September 26, 2015 departing on October 3rd. Our combined airfare was $3,306, and we flew business class.

“We stayed at Caesars Palace with a corporate approved government rate of $96 per night from September 26 to October 1, and a $108 per night rate starting on October 2. This led to a combined hotel bill of $2,017. It should be noted that the ability to access a government rate saved the Commission approximately $5,000.

“Our food totalled $628, and our ground transportation was $548. The total cost to the Commission for the seven day trip to Las Vegas for two people was $6,499, somewhat less than the $46,000 + it cost to take two ministers and an assistant to Singapore for five days.

“The trip was designed around attending G2E, the largest gaming show in North America. Mr. Schuetz wanted to introduce me to the products and people that make up the gaming industry. Beyond that Mr. Schuetz had made arrangements to meet on a private and confidential basis with five large and well-branded casino operators to discuss the opportunities available in Bermuda and to encourage them to consider visiting the Island.

“In addition we met with regulators from around the world and toured a great many of the different casinos, including the opportunity to view many areas typically inaccessible to the public. We also toured manufacturers, testing laboratories and met a large number of executives, regulators, managers, journalists, lobbyists, and the like. A list of our activities is set out in the schedule attached.

“We were interested to meet with North American integrated resort casino operators because approximately 90% of the tourist traffic to Bermuda is from North America, and we believed that there is great value to providing a brand that people recognize and trust. We thought that these operators might be interested in new development opportunities, acquiring an existing resort on the Island, or providing management services to a local resort owner interested in adding the casino amenity.

“Furthermore, it is our belief that the North American companies have a greater institutional knowledge in operating casinos under rigorous regimes of anti-money laundering controls, and possess corporate cultures that emphasize compliance.

“It is our belief that these qualities will provide a higher level of comfort to the banking system in working with Bermuda to process casino transactions, a critical component in being able to even offer integrated-resort casinos in Bermuda.

“This position has subsequently confirmed to be of material importance and endorsed by Finance Minister Bob Richards, who has been communicating with the banking community on these issues, and also then-Minister Shawn Crockwell.”

“The following is a list of many of the activities that we participated in during this trip:

  • Attended private and confidential meetings with the senior executives of five of the larger gaming companies of the world. The intent of the meetings was to describe the potential attributes of investing in Bermuda and its people, and inviting them to consider visiting the Island.
  • Visited the home of the CEO of GeoComply, a leading supplier of geolocation technology in the i and e Gaming spaces
  • Met with Tony Cabot, noted gaming attorney and author of the book entitled Regulating Land-Based Casinos. Richard Schuetz authored the 5th Chapter of this book, entitled The Economics of Regulation.
  • Richard Schuetz gave a guest lecture at the UNLV Law School
  • Toured the 300,000 square foot expo floor several times
  • Toured the private and exclusive gaming areas and high-roller suites of various properties
  • Visited with Konami, a leading provider of games and systems in the gaming space, and toured their facility
  • Visited with the compliance team from Aristocrat Technologies, a leading games and systems supplier
  • Visited and toured the Gaming Labs International laboratory and learned of the processes by which slots and games are subjected to sophisticated standards testing
  • Met with the Wells Fargo Bank Gambling and AML Compliance Team and discussed banking issues in Bermuda
  • Attended the Vantiv reception, a large payment processor in the iGaming space
  • Attended the International Masters of Gaming Law reception
  • Attended the Regulator’s Dinner, hosted by Kevin Mullally of Gaming Labs International
  • Met with Chris Grove, an author and expert on online gaming
  • Met with the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers [AGEM] and initiated negotiations with them to provide a best practices model for regulations addressing game approvals and manufacturing suitability
  • Met with the Gaming Standards Association, a leading international entity dedicated to securing inoperability among systems and devices.”

The Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission is comprised of Chairman Dunch, Deputy Chairman Garry Madeiros, and members Judith Hall-Bean, Dennis Tucker, and Derek Ramm.

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  1. Terry.. says:

    Glad you had a good time in Las Vegas Alan. I wish I had $600 for meals and I dont care who you are, by taking a hotel at a discount rate you are owing that favor back to the company in some way or form! If you cant afford the game then dont play it!

    But what about touring the local Bermudian market for those who can supply and maintain gaming education, equipment, services, etc. Why are you always forgetting about the Bermudians who can assist and who are trying to put together a sustainable Bermuda business model?

    You guys are typical and part of the problem when you bypass the local talent. We know there are talented people and businesses in Bermuda that can bring in all of the items we need and support them.

    So why are you not talking to them and promoting them on your public statements? I know why. Because they are not tied to your expert and his people from overseas so they dont matter!

    I say we bet on Bermudians and pay less attention to these over-rated and close-minded experts from overseas who are looking to retire off of the Commission and off of Bermudians!