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Premier tables gaming legislation amendments

Legislation was tabled last night in the House of Assembly, making the minister of finance responsible for the Bermuda Gaming Commission.

New legislation was also tabled in connection with the development of the Southampton Princess aimed at strengthening “protections for the Government of Bermuda in the provision of the $75 million guarantee” for the development.

The Premier and finance minister tabled amendments to the Gaming Act — a move first announced in the recent Budget.

A government statement said the Bill tabled specifies the minister responsible for the commission as the minister of finance and provides the Bermuda Gaming Commission with the power to modify or vary a regulatory obligation under the Act or regulations on being satisfied of certain prescribed criteria.

Amendments to the Gaming Act have been tabled that specify the minister responsible for the commission as the minister of finance(Photograph by Akil Simmons)

David Burt said: “These amendments will allow the commission to consider applications from licensees for potentially cost-saving operational modifications that may complement a hotel’s intended operations, whilst maintaining sound regulation for smaller, amenity-style casinos.”

The Minister of Tourism and the Cabinet Office, Vance Campbell, introduced legislation in support of the redevelopment of the Southampton Princess.

He said: “As we near the final closing of the financing and the commencement of work at the site, this legislation is necessary to provide for the commercial structure that underpins the Government’s support of the local lending for the redevelopment.

“This Bill follows amendments to the Public Treasury (Administration and Payments) Act 1969 to be passed in the House today.

“As the Premier indicated in the Budget Statement, this legislative package “ … strengthens the protections for the Government of Bermuda in the provision of the $75 million guarantee of local lending to support the redevelopment project. The unique arrangement for the repayment of that loan requires our legislation to be modified to facilitate the structure of the loan agreement. The proposed changes will add necessary certainty and security as the Government is determined to apply best practice and fulfil all necessary due diligence as it is the people of Bermuda who are supporting this critical redevelopment project.”

It is expected that both Bills will be debated by MPs on March 24.

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Published March 14, 2023 at 7:56 am (Updated March 14, 2023 at 8:29 am)

Premier tables gaming legislation amendments

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