The Bermuda Gaming Commission has granted the self-governing British overseas territory’s first casino licence almost nine years after parliament passed a motion to permit gaming establishments.
The receipt of the accreditation, which comes months after Hotelco Bermuda Holding submitted its application, sees the group’s St Regis Bermuda Resort set to become the site of the island’s first casino, subject to a number of “necessary steps”.
Despite acknowledging that “the Commission has determined that the applicant has met the legislative suitability requirements for a licence under the Gaming Act and regulations,” the BGC added that the venue must still “comply with all the legislative requirements to open the casino”.
“This is good news,” said Bermuda Premier David Burt. “This represents new employment opportunities and a potential increase in hospitality jobs.
“The process has been a long and detailed one in which the Commission and the hoteliers have worked together to ensure that all aspects of the statutory requirements are met.
“The hotel’s owners have demonstrated a genuine commitment to Bermuda and to the east end of the Island, and we truly value their contribution to the tourism industry and the community.”
Additional stages that the facility must hit are said to be “predominantly operational in nature,” and will include the establishment of a compliance committee, finalisation of internal controls to ensure compliance with the statutory framework, recruitment and training of employees, and purchase, shipping and installation of gaming equipment and systems
The opening date of the casino, which will follow last year’s hotel debut, is to be “entirely dependent” on meeting all legislative requirements.
These conditions will be subject to the Commission’s review and approval. The BGC also added that it “continues to be ready to effect regulatory and supervisory responsibilities,” with it rumoured that the island’s Hamilton Princess is also pursuing casino approval.
“The development of the casino industry is one of the four lead initiatives of the government’s economic recovery plan and with this announcement Bermuda moves a step closer towards realising that goal,” Burt added.
“This bodes well for additional investment into Bermuda and into tourism in particular.”