Premier Burt: Gaming ‘Law Must Be Amended’

February 18, 2023

“Almost nine years after the previous administration passed the Gaming Act, Bermuda does not have a casino,” Premier David Burt said, adding that “the law must be amended.”

In delivering the 2023 Budget, the Premier — who is also the Minister of Finance — said, “Amendments made since that time have not been enough to address the obstacles that seem designed to prevent this industry from taking hold in this jurisdiction. What is clear, Mr Speaker, is that having the integrated resort model as the only available option for casino operation in Bermuda is a flaw in the inherited regime.

“The law must be amended to permit potential casino operators to choose the model that best suits the intended venue for their casino. Likewise, the law must be amended to permit the Gaming Commission the flexibility to consider and grant licences on that basis.

“To reinforce the regulatory responsibilities of the Commission, Mr Speaker, these amendments will be accompanied by a revised definition of Minister in the Act to establish the Minister of Finance as the minister, similar to the Bermuda Monetary Authority. It is anticipated that these changes will address impediments to operational and business support for gaming in Bermuda.

The law to allow casinos in Bermuda passed back in 2014, which followed after the proposed referendum on allowing gaming was cancelled.

Last month the Hamilton Princess — who received a provisional casino gaming license back in 2017said that Century Casinos “will no longer participate in developing a casino at the resort” and noted that they “paused our search for a new operator while we await a clearer roadmap from the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission on a viable path forward.”

A Green Paper from back in 2010 [PDF] — which is over a dozen years old and even mentions the ‘proposed Hyatt resort’ which was cancelled back in 2015 — said, “the introduction of casino gaming to Bermuda could generate potential gaming revenues between $84 million and $146 million annually.”

The discussion on gaming extends back over a century, with an AP news report noting that in 1912, the Bermuda Governor rejected a plan from a “syndicate of American capitalists” who proposed building “casinos, race tracks and gambling halls” in Bermuda.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Ringmaster says:

    The blame game never stops. PLP in election mode 24/7. It was the PLP who introduced the Green Paper in 2010 upon which the legislation was based. It was the PLP who in 2017 made amendments that took away the independence of the Gaming Commission, and they were told at the time it was wrong and would be detrimental. If the legislation is wrong, why has it taken this regime (and interesting term) until now to realize it? A change to the Minister of Finance, more power with Burt, will make no difference as it is still a Minister in ultimate charge.

  2. kevin says:

    Thats obvious burt cant get his finger out with HP withdrawing hes down to Regis only. Lets get real they will never have gambling in Bermuda because the plp cant get their piece of the action , just like there will be no SPrincess . His budget is a dream , there is 0% chance of them making 1.1 billion in revenue but he will be correct in them spending 1 billion . plp supporters will believe anything

    • unknown800k says:

      Give him and the supporters some credit, they believe he lowered gas prices world wide.
      Sad part is he probably wont be in Bermuda to enjoy the path of destruction his has created..

  3. Mark says:

    Problem is no bank will be involved bc the plp want to make money off this personally. The PLP has to go if we have bay hope for survival.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “bc the plp want to make money off this personally”

      Perhaps. Or perhaps the casino industry in Bermuda has been intentionally sabotaged in order to appease a core group of PLP supporters. If the latter is the case, the PLP government is giving the illusion of supporting casinos whilst at the same time ensuring that no casino can operate in Bermuda.