‘Frank and extremely useful talks’ held on St Regis casino
Owners of the St Regis hotel and a representative of their proposed casino operator had meetings last week that were described as “frank and extremely useful”, a government spokesman said tonight.
They met the Bermuda Gaming Commission on Friday, followed by talks with David Burt and Vance Campbell, the Minister of Tourism.
Mr Campbell said: “The St Regis Hotel is a valuable addition to Bermuda’s tourism product and the Government enjoys a constructive working relationship with the owners.”
He added: "The St Regis team had met earlier that day with the Bermuda Gaming Commission and in addition to an overview of that discussion, it was an opportunity to hear from them on the hotel’s operations and some additional thoughts on the coming season.”
Mr Burt said: “I continue to be impressed by the commitment of St Regis to introducing a casino at the hotel and our discussion examined legislative and practical ways to achieve that shared goal.
“The idle and irresponsible media speculation around gaming has failed to change the owner’s positive outlook for a casino at the property.”
A government spokesman said the meetings were described as “frank and extremely useful”.
The Premier added: “It is ridiculous to suggest that the Government has not invested time and effort into achieving gaming for Bermuda.
“We have met with banks, worked with hoteliers, responding positively to the economic realities of the pandemic, compounded by the delays in gaming licensing, and conferred with the commission’s executive team on striking the necessary balance between encouraging gaming and doing so with an appropriate regulatory regime.
“In all this we have been determined to understand and act on issues that have delayed gaming for Bermuda.
“With the renewed commitment to a casino we heard from St Regis and their casino operator, those efforts will continue as we collaborate with all parties to deliver on this economic imperative for Bermuda.”
The St Regis, in St George’s, was granted the island’s first casino licence in October, but no date has been announced for an opening.
It emerged this month that Century Casinos pulled out of plans to develop a casino at the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club after being involved in the efforts for eight years.
Peter Hoetzinger, Century’s president and chief executive, said that with the existing legislative framework, the company could not foresee the project being completed in a reasonable time, if at all.
The hotel added that it halted a search for a new operator pending “a clearer road map from the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission on a viable path forward to seeing a casino open its doors”.
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