The Minister of Tourism Development and Transport in Bermuda, Shawn Crockwell, announced the creation of a Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission, several months after Parliament approved the Casino Gaming Act. Mr. Crockwell announced three out of the five designated Gaming Commissioners who make up the Commission, namely Alan Dunch, Garry Madeiros and Denis Tucker.
Alan Dunch was appointed chairman of the new Bermuda Gaming Commission, a role which required at least five years’ experience as a barrister. Dunch himself has over 25 years of legal practice at the bar, and his specialties lie in a wide range of areas, including labor and employment disputes, planning and hospitality law, corporate law and commercial litigation. More importantly, Dunch has experience in overseas jurisdictions and is an expert on Bermuda law. As such, Tourism Minister Crockwell believes that Dunch is the best person for the job as chairman of the fledgling Commission.
The second person handpicked to serve as Commissioner is Garry Madeiros, the newly retired president and Chief Executive Officer of BELCO Holdings Ltd., Bermuda Gas and Utility, and Bermuda Electric Light Company. The chartered accountant is an appointed Justice of the Peace and an Officer of the British Empire, and was the first civilian Chairman of the Bermuda Defence Board.
Finally, Minister Crockwell announced Denis Tucker, Chief Executive Officer of the Hotel Pension Trust Fund as the third out of five Commissioners. Tucker was director of the Bank for Bermuda for over a decade and now serves as Director of the Bank of Bermuda Foundation.
The minister said that the plan was to appoint two more people, however in order to expedite the process of getting the Commission up and running, the three current men would suffice. One of the two others would come from out of Bermuda and would be a former Gaming Commissioner with experience in fields such as money laundering and regulation.
Under the Casino Gaming Act, the new commission will regulate Bermuda’s gaming industry and set best practice standards, ensuring that that are also complied with. Further, the commission will be tasked with issuing licenses to operators. It will be the only entity entitled to issue such licenses, and no operator may transfer its license without a new application being made to the Commission.
The Gaming Commission’s powers also extend to approving the type of gaming equipment used in Bermuda casinos, as well as the layout of the casino floor. It will also have a hand in determining the employees working for the casino.
The Minister completed his announcement by saying that he was confident that resort gaming was right for Bermuda and that most of the inhabitants supported the legalization of gambling in Bermuda. He said, however, that it was imperative that the right type of regulatory structure be put in place in order to create a responsible and respected industry.