Bermuda set to sign gaming MOU with TCI
A working relationship between gaming regulators in Bermuda and the Turks and Caicos Islands is expected to be formalised in a memorandum of understanding.
Jean Major, the Bermuda Gaming Commission chief executive, said that the island’s MOUs also meant that temporary licences could be issued to organisations that were accredited and in good standing in the partner jurisdiction.
He explained: “An MOU is a formal agreement between two government agencies or entities whose purpose is to facilitate the sharing of information and collaboration on matters of mutual interest.
“The use of MOUs between gaming regulators is a very common practice around the world.
“Section 190 of the Gaming Act 2014 sets out the statutory authority for the commission to enter into arrangements with foreign gaming regulatory bodies.
“Any sharing of information must, of course, be consistent with and compliant with the respective applicable laws of the two jurisdictions.”
Mr Major said that the MOU between the BGC and the Turks and Caicos Islands Gaming Commission was “approved and awaiting final signatures”.
He said agreements were already in place with gaming regulators in Britain, Ohio and Ontario.
Mr Major said that although MOUs can vary slightly between regulators, they generally provided a framework for making sure that appropriate information and documentation were made available to the parties for eligibility assessments, compliance and regulatory assurance work and law enforcement purposes.
He added that the agreements helped to provide "joint, co-operative or collaborative“ inspections and investigations as well as other compliance, regulatory and law-enforcement activities.
Mr Major said that they also provided for partnership working around the development of operational and technical standards for gaming, testing and certification of equipment and software.
He added: “In the case of Bermuda’s gaming legislation, an MOU with another regulator also provides the option for the Bermuda Gaming Commission to issue a ‘temporary’ licence to a gaming vendor if that gaming vendor is licensed in good standing with the jurisdiction with an MOU.”
The agreement was referenced in an article published last month in TCI newspaper The Sun, where Josephine Connolly, the TCI Minister of Tourism, said that the overseas territory’s gaming commission collected $6.1 million in 2021-22.
She added: “We believe that partnership with our colleagues is paramount to the development of our sectors."
Mr Major said that two applicants with provisional casino licences to operate in Bermuda — the St Regis Bermuda Resort and the Hamilton Princess Hotel and Beach Club — were at the last of a three-stage process and were “progressing very well”.
He added: “St Regis is further along in the process.”
A third applicant — the Fairmont Southampton — received a designated site order, which is the first step of the three, in March.
The St Regis, in St George’s, invited applications for a director of casino compliance in a job advert that is due to expire at the end of next month.
Among the duties expected of the post holder are to confirm that the casino operation “meets the brand’s target customer needs” and focuses on growing revenues.
The advert added that the successful applicant will maximise financial performance in line with Bermuda’s compliance and gaming regulations.