The Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission is currently undergoing “exploratory talks” with five major casino operators about helping Bermuda compete internationally as a tourist destination, according to The Royal Gazette who had interviewed Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission Executive Director, Richard Schuetz.
In the interview, Mr Schuetz said that if one of the major operators did come to the Island, it would help to further bolster the tourism industry. “There would be free media if that happens. That would be news. That would help put this place on the map,” he said. “Secondly, those guys have a name for a reason. They deliver. They win.”
Mr Schuetz says Bermuda’s tourism industry would benefit from the introduction of casinos, making them more competitive with neighbouring tourist hot spots.
“Right now we are competing with Singapore, we are competing with the Bahamas, we are competing with Jamaica, who’s going to launch a casino product. It might be that quaint still sells, but there is a concern.” he says. “The new model is that casinos are part of the product around the globe and that’s only growing.”
Mr Schuetz also said that while there have been concerns with the social impact of gaming, the social impact of unemployment should also be considered.
“Casinos have proven themselves time and time again as an agent of employment,” he said. “The other analysis people don’t do is comparing it to the illegal stuff that’s going on. So much of that now is on the internet. There’s no tax revenue, there’s no protection, and it’s not labour intensive, or labour intensive a little bit in Costa Rica or wherever they are located.”
He also noted the creation of the Problem Gaming Council, a legislated body aimed at addressing the issues stemming from problem gaming as a top priority.