Hamilton Princess close to getting casino go-ahead
Bermuda could have two casinos up and running by the end of the year, it has emerged.
Jean Major, the gambling watchdog, said the Hamilton Princess Hotel was now in the third and final stage of its bid to seek approval to launch a casino.
Mr Major would not be drawn on the timing of when such a gambling hub could open at the hotel but he has already said it was likely a casino would be operating at the St Regis Hotel in St George’s by June.
The chief executive of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission told The Royal Gazette: “The Hamilton Princess is in the third stage of the process – the due diligence stage.
”But, it’s hard to say when it could actually open.“
The comments came after David Burt, the Premier, predicted three times last year that the casino planned for the St Regis Hotel would open by the end of 2021.
Mr Major said earlier that before any casino could open for business it had to be granted a licence as a suitable operator and an approval to open, which certified that it complied with the law.
The BCGC is at present examining the anti-money laundering procedures of the operator of the St Regis project, as well as other aspects of the business.
The One Bermuda Alliance has raised concerns about the delay in casino gambling and accused the Government of creating a “smokescreen” around the project.
Cole Simons, the Opposition leader, also accused Mr Burt of a possible conflict of interest because he is also the tourism minister and responsible for the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission.
Mr Burt made predictions in January, May and September last year that the St George’s casino would be up and running by the end of 2021.
He told MPs in the autumn: “It’s my hope, dream and expectation that we will have a casino opening before the end of the year.”
Jump-starting the casino industry was a major plank of the PLP’s 2020 election platform.