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Crockwell: Temporary casinos a tourism boost

Worth a gamble: chips on a roulette table

Introducing temporary casinos during the America’s Cup would boost the island’s tourism product while helping unemployed Bermudians, Shawn Crockwell has claimed.

The newly independent MP said that, while some people were “over the moon” about the June 2017 sailing event, he had witnessed plenty of indifference among the population as well.

The former One Bermuda Alliance tourism minister expressed his disappointment that Government had not heeded his proposal to introduce temporary casino licences during the 35th edition of the yacht race.

“We will have thousands of people which means converging on this island — some millionaires or even billionaires,” he said yesterday in the House of Assembly.

“Just imagine the buzz if we could provide a quality, temporary casino experience for our guests. What an opportunity to get this new industry on the go.”

Mr Crockwell said that the necessary businesspeople had declared their interest in his proposal, which would also prove hugely beneficial to any individuals on the island who were struggling financially.

He recounted a visit to the Atlantis hotel casino in the Bahamas, where he had seen a blackjack dealer make $400 in tips in just two hours, and insisted that this scenario could be replicated here.

“We could train unemployed Bermudians not just for a job, but for a career.

“And they would be lining up for that opportunity,” Mr Crockwell said.

“And even if they didn’t get employment in Bermuda, they could go to the United Kingdom (to find further casino work).

“That would create something that’s missing in our community — hope — and would get the average Bermudian buying into the benefit of the America’s Cup.”