Slot machines: Out of the equation
August 19, 2013
The recent public commentary regarding gambling and the promised referendum prompted me to write as I recently saw an episode of “60 Minutes” which looked at gaming and the propensity of some to become addicted to, in particular, slot machines. I admit I haven't been to Vegas in over ten years, but it seems the old ‘one arm bandits' have been replaced with faster paced computerised slot machines more akin to video games. The episode highlighted that slots are the most profitable gaming type but also seems to cause the most social impact.
I believe your newspaper and other people in the community have recently flagged the importance of the wording of any referendum on gambling in Bermuda in terms of what type of gaming be allowed, who would be allowed to run it and who would be allowed to participate in order to have any meaningful discussion on the subject. I think that we as Bermudians are all very mindful of the social impacts that legalised gambling can bring but also need to weigh the realistic potential advantages.
In order to help simplify the impeding discussion on gambling in Bermuda I would make a suggestion which could remove a large part of the risk of negative social issues. This is to limit the proposed gambling types to table games only (including Crown and Anchor of course) and not allow slot machine type gaming. This would help give the higher class, high roller entertainment portion of gaming akin to the ‘Monte Carlo/James Bond' image everybody in support of gaming seems to be proposing. By taking slot machines out of the equation and limiting gaming to table games only may provide a middle ground and starting point for rational discussion on the pros and cons of gaming in Bermuda and help more easily frame the questions on any referendum.
GEOFF PARKER JR