HAMILTON, Bermuda, Wednesday December 9, 2015 – Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission (BCGC) executive director Richard Schuetz believes that casinos will not only boost the island’s tourism, but will be a major job creator providing employment for thousands of Bermudians.
Using the Singapore model, Schuetz expects the casino industry to generate hundreds of jobs directly and indirectly.
“And there is a whole variety of jobs,” Schuetz indicated.
“You may say you want to be a dealer, but there’s got to be someone to carry the chips. There’s got to be a pit assistance keeping tracks on the games. There’s going to be surveillance, generally food and beverage. Slot technicians.
“It’s amazing the number of jobs. Casinos are labour-intensive products, so they need a lot of bodies.”
Casino gaming is now legal in Bermuda after the act permitting the operation of casinos passed in December last year.
According to the legislation, no more than three casinos can be in operation, but BCGC chairman Alan Dunch has confirmed that “exploratory talks” were taking place with five major international casino operators.
According to Bermuda’s Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell, the Casino Gaming Act of 2014 “represents a significant and critical adjustment to our tourism product and to Bermuda as a destination.”
The minister also expressed hope that the first casino would open in time for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017.
The process has come one step closer to fruition with legislation setting out how casino locations will be selected being put before the House of Assembly.
The Royal Gazette reports that The Casino Gaming (Designated Sites) Regulations 2015, tabled by Crockwell, details the process through which property owners can apply to make their property a designated site where a casino could be housed.
According to the legislation, parties interested in having their property deemed a designated casino site would have to submit a form with a non-refundable $50,000 fee to the responsible ministry.
Upon receiving the application, the minister will submit it to the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission, who will consider the application and advise the minister if an order should be made.
Among the factors to be considered by the commission are the location’s suitability for an integrated resort or, if the site is already home to a resort, its suitability to operate a casino, with the burden being on the applicant to prove their case.
“The commission’s decision and advice to the minister shall be based on facts and circumstances known at the time the decision is made and may be subject to conditions that the commission deems reasonable in the public interest,” the regulations state.
“If a requirement made under this regulation is not complied with, the commission may refuse to consider or further consider the application concerned and may advise the minister to refuse to make a designated site order in respect of the application.”
If the commission does approve an application, the minister may make an order designating the site, but the legislation states that the minister is not bound to give reasons for decisions.