Bermuda is a small and beautiful Island located just off the east coast of the United States and is a part of the British Overseas Territory. The island that depends heavily on its tourism industry has had to battle a struggling economy during the last few years and the government is looking for new ways to generate revenue.

Richard Schuetz, the executive director of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission believes that Bermuda’s casino industry could be a solution to this problem as the industry will not only generated revenue for the government but also help to boost tourism on the island. The chairman of the commission Alan Dunch has already taken steps to initiate discussions with five of the biggest casino operators in the industry and is confident that they will be keen to set up operations in Bermuda.

While Bermuda is a fantastic tourist destination, it hasn’t managed to establish itself as a popular tourist destination like the Bahamas, Costa Rica or Jamaica. The commission believes that if it could sign a deal with any one of these mega-casino operators, it would go a long way in generating media attention and online publicity which would be very beneficial for the island.

The commission acknowledges the fact that there could be some opposition towards the introduction of casinos on the island as there has been a lot of publicity in the recent past about the negative impact that the gambling industry can have on a society. Schuetz does not deny the fact that the gambling industry does have a downside but states that every industry has a downside and it is all about managing and monitoring it carefully.

In a statement Schuetz said, “There are issues, and there have to be policies in place, but typically if you look at experience after experience there is a group of people who say it’s going to be bad, but if you look at the 40 states in the US that offer casinos, any of the European or Asian countries, name one jurisdiction that said those people were right and that it was a mistake. Not one jurisdiction has ever done that.”

The Problem Gaming Council was recently formed in Bermuda to address the problems caused by the gambling industry and Schuetz stated that the commission fully supports the council and will work closely together to ensure that the best care and facilities are provided to problem gamblers. Schuetz stated that the problems associated with the gambling industry were more down to a mental issue rather than a moral issue.

One Response

  1. Steven Norton

    Bermuda shouldn’t expect the major casino developers, like Wynn or the LV Sands to jump at the opportunity to build a destination resort on the Island. Recent articles have referred to the two Singapore casino resorts, one devoted to conventions and trade shows; and the other to holiday tourism, with a Universal Theme Park. Singapore has nearly 5 million residents, over 80% ethnic Chinese, nearly
    40,000 hotel rooms and one of the Worlds best airports. And as headquarters to many International companies, this Island City State attracts 15 million visitors annually, up nearly 6 million since the 2 casinos opened in 2010. The typical Oriental customer to Macau, lost an average of $1,500 per day in the casinos in 2014. In Las Vegas, the average visitor spends less that $300, during a 3 night stay. In Bermuda, with an average stay probably closer to 5 or 6 nights, and with the sun, sand and sea to keep visitors occupied during daylight hours, they are going to spend even less in the resort casinos. At our Paradise Island, prior to casino gaming being introduced in Atlantic City, the average guest spent around $35 per night in the casino, over a 6 night stay. Considering inflation, this loss would certainly double, but considering that gaming now exists in most of Bermuda’s customer markets, a casino is not the same amenity it was when we opened the Paradise Island Casino in 1967.
    As your new Gaming Commission Director, Richard Schuetz has indicated, the casinos will be an important new attraction for Bermuda, and it adds an adult amenity that is available in many competing resorts.
    But it is important to keep expectations realistic, as to what kind of projects and which casino companies will bid on the 3 licenses. And it may be worth considering approving a temporary license for one of your larger existing resorts, so that gaming could be available during the America’s Cup, which will be a great opportunity to introduce your new addition to Worldwide media.

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