Gambling changes everything
August 24, 2011
The problem with introducing legalised gambling in Bermuda is that gambling is not just part of the “tourism product”.
It’s an activity that changes the character and identity of Bermuda itself in a fundamental way that is different from, for example, introducing an isolated new tourism attraction such as swimming with dolphins or building a new hotel. It affects all the people of Bermuda, in how they identify with their community and the nature of their country, and what kind of Bermuda Bermudians want in the future.
It’s a kind of quintessential change that everyone in Bermuda must have a priority stake in deciding. For that reason the people of Bermuda should take precedence over the tourism industry or Ministry of Tourism in deciding, by referendum or some other communal poll, whether they want gambling to be part of their Bermuda, their country, their community, their future. If this “tourism product” called Bermuda isn’t ultimately all about the people and community of Bermuda, it is, ultimately, pretty much worthless with or without gambling.