Robust demand for gaming’
The Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission has seen a “robust demand” for applications to establish properties as designated casino sites.
Richard Schuetz, the executive director of the commission, said the demand for applications was stronger than he had expected, adding that so far two of the applications had been returned.
While he said those submitted applications had some minor deficiencies, the commission and the applicants were in communication to remedy the issues. “I would say we have seen a robust demand for applications so far,” he said. “Questions have been coming in at a healthy rate.
“It’s great news for a couple of reasons. If there are more designated sites it means that any interested casino operators would be able to consider multiple locations. It’s also evident that there is a robust demand for gaming on the island.”
Legislation allowing property owners to apply for “designated site” status came into effect this year.
Property owners who want to build an integrated resort casino or a casino on an existing tourist resort must apply to have the property listed as a designated site before seeking a casino licence. However, legislation specifies that receiving a site designation does not guarantee a casino licence.
There is no legislated limit to the number of designated sites on the island, only three casino licences can be in effect at the same time.
Mr Schuetz said that work on further gaming legislation and regulation was moving forward smoothly, and that the recent resignation of Shawn Crockwell as tourism minister had not led to a change in direction.
“We have met with Grant Gibbons and he seems to be very inquisitive, he seems to be very open minded,” he said.
He added that the commission was still working hard to ensure a sustainable gaming industry in Bermuda, despite having a much smaller workforce and budget than the team responsible for introducing gaming in Singapore — the basis for the Bermuda model.
“I have always viewed our constituents as those unemployed Bermudians who could be working in the industry,” he said. “We still believe that 90 per cent of the people employed in the casino could be Bermudian.
“There’s just a lot to do.”
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