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Casino developers on application alert

Work in progress: Richard Schuetz hopes to be able to invite applications this month (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Potential casino developers may be able to apply to have property designated as a possible casino site before the end of the month.

Richard Schuetz, executive director of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission, said that he hopes the application process will be ready later this month.

In the meanwhile, he said his office is still at work to ensure that the process goes smoothly.

“What we are doing right now is developing the application,” he said. “The next focus will be on communication.

“We want to make sure that everybody knows what we are doing, and we need to be ready so that when people call us and ask questions we answer them in a consistent way.

“We’re hoping to open the process by late February. Hopefully, we will be able to roll everything out then.”

According to legislation, developers interested in building a casino as part of a resort will be required to first have the property listed as a designated site. In order to obtain designation, property owners would have to submit documents, which will be considered by the gaming commission, who will then make a recommendation to the minister.

Among the factors to be considered by the commission are the location’s suitability for an integrated resort or, if the site is already home to a resort, its suitability to operate a casino, with the burden being on the applicant to prove their case.

A site designation does not give an automatic green light to develop a casino, however, as developers will also need a casino licence, only three of which will be available.