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Gaming legislation sets dangerous precedent

Dear Sir,

The Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission is an independent body set up to oversee gaming regulations. Richard Schuetz and Alan Dunch have done an excellent job to date; so good a job in fact that Jamahl Simmons now wants to eliminate Mr Dunch by any means possible.

Is this what the people of Bermuda voted for? A Robert Mugabe-styled government that will change legislation every time it does not get what it wants?

The minister will be setting a dangerous precedent if this motion passes. Consider his quote from today's Royal Gazette: “Legislation will allow the minister to remove members of the commission who do not follow legal directions issued by the Government”. And in the next sentence: “ ... this would not interfere with the independence of the commission in its investigations”.

Of course, it would.

This whole seedy gaming business is bringing out the worst in our politicians. It started with Mark Pettingill and Shawn Crockwell, and is now getting the attention of various members of our new government — everyone's eyes are turning green. It is clear that MM&I is not a group of people with whom we should associate. Mr Dunch knows it and he is willing to fight his corner over it.

That is far from being petty politics, as Mr Simmons suggested; it is serious.

The minister's assertion that “there are individuals in the Bermuda [Casino] Gaming Commission seemingly prepared to drag Bermuda and its reputation through the mud to get their own way” is laughable.

Mr Dunch is doing the job he was appointed to do. It is Jamahl Simmons who is seemingly prepared to drag Bermuda's reputation as a democratic jurisdiction through the mud. He is way out of his depth as a government minister.

Instead of tabling legislation to oust Mr Dunch, he should be tabling legislation for a referendum on gaming in Bermuda.

ALAN GAMBLE

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Published November 15, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated November 15, 2017 at 3:09 pm)

Gaming legislation sets dangerous precedent

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