Published on Monday, January 13, 2014
Law-makers in Bermuda are expected to permit casino gambling for the first time according to the island's minister of tourism and transport, Shawn Crockwell.
In proposals under discussion, casinos will be allowed to operate as an integrated facility within a hotel or resort rather than a stand-alone venue.
In October 2013, the island's parliament relaxed laws which had previously banned cruise ships from operating their shipboard casinos when in port.
The decision on whether to legalize gambling was originally to be put to a referendum, however this was abandoned and will now go through due process in parliament.
Before this, a series of public consultation meetings and education programs will take place, starting on January 27.
Topics up for discussion include presentations on the integrated casino-resort concept favored by the government, job creation and tourism investment, and the social impact of legalized gambling.
The minister said that a recent poll found around 70% of the population were in favor of casino gaming.
Tourism accounts for around 28% of Bermuda's GDP, of which 84% comes from the North American market.
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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.