Tuesday, 25 Jun 2024

Resort Casinos Likely Scuttled Under Amended Bermuda Legislation

Premier announces changes to long-delayed project


Resort Casinos Likely Scuttled Under Amended Bermuda Legislation

Bermuda's casino project remains afloat, but its original resort-based model appears dead in the water.

Amended legislation approved at the end of last week by territory officials changes key elements of the long-running gaming proposal, including the requirement that casinos be attached to resort properties.

David Burt, Bermuda's premier, said the integrated resort model long envisioned for Bermuda's gaming industry represented a "flaw" in the previous bill. The resort-based model has been "relaxed" under the new legislation, Burt said in Monday press reports.

The bill mentions creating "smaller, amenity-style casinos," under models conceived by operators. It does not mention how casinos would be developed or licenses would work under the new law.

Burt, who also served as Bermuda's tourism minister until last week, said his latter position emerged as a "potential conflict of interest" impacting the long-delayed project. Burt re-named Zane DeSilva, another Bermuda lawmaker and a former tourism minister, to his previous post.

Earlier this year a local bank joined several Bermuda lawmakers in opposition to the original legislation, asserting Burt's multiple roles as premier and tourism and finance minister placed proposed casinos under too much government control.

Burt said the new bill addresses those concerns. He also said the bill enables the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission (BCGC) to rewrite operator guidelines and create anti-money laundering regulations and initiatives to promote responsible gaming.

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