Replacement for Schuetz yet to be found
The top job at the island’s gambling regulator is still vacant more than a year after the last executive director quit.
Richard Schuetz resigned from his post at the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission in July last year and warned the island would “prove incapable” of keeping crooks out of the industry.
It is understood the job has been advertised at least three times since then, most recently last week.
Jamahl Simmons, the tourism minister, said in July Deborah Blakeney, the BCGC’s general counsel, would fill the role on a temporary basis
But applications are again being sought for someone to take the job on a permanent basis and be “responsible for the daily operations of the commission”.
The job advertisement said that duties included making sure gambling on the island was run “with the highest standards of honesty and integrity”.
The advertisement added the successful applicant would be expected to work in a “co-operative and collaborative manner with all applicable agencies both within and outside of Bermuda”.
Candidates must have seven years’ experience in casino gambling or regulation and anyone shortlisted would have to undergo “robust” background checks.
The advertisement added that whoever got the three-year contract “may not hold any other office or employment”.
Mr Schuetz, a casino industry veteran, was appointed in 2015 and worked a notice period before he left the island last December to return to the United States.
He suggested in his resignation letter that Bermuda should “seriously consider” ditching gaming altogether or risk its reputation as a clean financial jurisdiction.
Mr Schuetz wrote: “My primary reason for resigning is that I have lost confidence that the Government of Bermuda and its legal system can provide the necessary protections to offer well-regulated casino gaming on the island.
“I sincerely believe that this island will prove incapable of keeping people with questionable backgrounds and behaviours away from the industry.”
Alan Dunch, commission chairman at the time, quit his post last November after the Government tabled legislation to allow the tourism minister to fire members of the BCGC and issue policy directions to the regulatory body.
Roger Gros, the publisher of Global Gaming Business Magazine, said the recent job advertisement was “sensible”.
But he added: “The reputation of the Bermuda gaming industry now is not high.
“It’s going to be tough for them to get somebody who can really do the job and have that integrity that they need.
“I don’t know if they’re going to be able to find that person.”
Mr Gros, who is based in Nevada, said “a lot of people” fitted the description advertised but most were already employed or working on a consultancy basis.
He added: “To really draw them out and get them to sign a contract and come into a situation where it’s unclear that you’re going to have that transparency that a regulator needs is going to be very difficult.”
Mr Gros said that “regulatory uncertainty” had affected the confidence of potential financiers of casino developments on the island. Ms Blakeney said last Friday that inquiries about the executive director position should be directed to Cheryl-Ann Mapp, the BCGC chairwoman, who was not in the office.
The Royal Gazette was told its request would be forwarded by e-mail, but received no response.
Mr Simmons said in July that the Government was looking for a replacement. He later added a “full and formal update on gaming” would be “provided at the appropriate time”.
A series of questions, including when the public would get an update and what progress had been made to bring casinos to Bermuda, was submitted to the Government last Friday.
No response to those was received by press time, although a spokeswoman said yesterday any inquiries about the job vacancy should be submitted to the “independent BCGC”.
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