Princess casino could create 100 jobs
Up to 100 new jobs and a boon for the economy were promised yesterday if a casino at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club gets the go-ahead
The backers of the project said that they had no plans to use a controversial cashless gaming system in the operation.
The application, by Hamilton Princess Hotel Casino Limited, said the casino would be based in the hotel, with the potential to host its first customers in November 2018.
The presentation at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute was made by Andrew Green, president of the casino company and a member of the family that own the landmark hotel.
Mr Green said: “It will be a big driver of jobs and it will be a big driver of tax revenue, as well as additional spend from tourists which is important for Bermuda.”
Mr Green was backed up by Andreas Terler, vice-president of operations for Century Casinos, and Jason Mackertich, architect at Botelho Wood Architects.
The group said the casino would be owned by the Green family and managed by Century Casinos, which owns and operates gambling operations in the United States and Canada, as well as in Britain and Poland.
They added that 80 to 100 people would be employed in the casino, dependent on the season.
Mr Terler said: “We definitely want to hire preferentially Bermudians.”
He added Bermudian suppliers in areas like payroll, IT, and security would also be used.
Mr Terler said: “We feel it’s best practice not to do this in the casino but to rely on local resources.”
The plans include a casino floor of 9,500 square feet with fourteen gaming tables, nearly 200 slot machines and one automated roulette table, to be housed in what is now the Harbourview ballroom.
Mr Mackertich said the ballroom had one of the best harbour views in the world.
He added: “I can’t think of many other hotels or any kind of casinos that would have that kind of vista or backdrop.”
Mr Green said: “We didn’t want to create a casino that’s in the basement somewhere.”
Mr Mackertich said the plan would put table games in the centre of the floor, surrounded by slot machines on the edges of the room.
He added plans included a special area for high rollers.
Table games would include blackjack, three-card poker, American roulette and Crown and Anchor.
The room, with a single entrance, would be fitted with its own bathrooms and a bar area.
Mr Mackertich said special lighting would create a “starry night effect”.
A separate private salon of 1,200 square feet would include three table games and three slot machines.
The presentation estimated that the casino could be open within 12-15 months.
Mr Green said the granting of a provisional licence could make an opening date of November 2018 “realistic”.
Mr Terler added the casino would attract incremental tourists. He said: “We foresee that a lot of tourists will visit, not only from the Hamilton Princess but also from a lot of other hotels.”
The group fielded questions from members of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission after the presentation.
Alan Dunch, chairman of the Commission, raised cashless gaming.
The system, in which players are given a card to play with rather than use cash, was proposed at a Progressive Labour Party forum on safe and responsible gambling held at Elbow Beach in May.
But Mr Green said: “As of right now we have no plans for cashless gaming.”
Legislation passed in 2014 allows for a maximum of four casinos on the island.
Only one application to operate a casino has so far been submitted.
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