After nine years of waiting Bermuda gets First Casino
The first license for a casino in Bermuda has been awarded. The island of Bermuda will now have the opportunity to offer its residents and visitors an even greater variety of entertainment options. The launch date for this first casino still hasn’t been announced.
Bermuda is a self-governing British Overseas Territory (BOT) in the western North Atlantic Ocean. It’s an archipelago of 7 main islands who are clustered together in the shape of a fishhook and connected by bridges. The main economy is based on tourism and international finance so with this new development Bermuda marks yet another milestone on their journey towards creating jobs, opportunities and growth.
The St. Regis Bermuda Resort has been in operation for the past year and a half, but there are still many hurdles it needs to overcome before being able to open their gaming hall.
The authorities and legislators in Bermuda have been resisting the idea of gambling, but they couldn’t hold out any longer.
Finally rolling out
This year, the government of Bermuda agreed to roll out casinos with cautious optimism. They’re hopeful that this will be good for their economy but the potential market is worth watching closely to see how it may unfold.The banking industry has been resistant to this measure as well, mainly because they are unwilling to work with the gambling sector over money laundering concerns, despite Bermuda’s history as a tax haven. The island archipelago is now ready for a new future.
According to the BGC (Bermuda Gaming Commission) this will involve a three-stage process. To guarantee compliance with regulatory frameworks, casinos will have an internal committee and control system. Also, the purchased equipment needs approval from the BGC. They’ve also introduced mandatory training for employees which the regulator needs to sign off on.
Opening the casino depends on how quickly the St. Regis Resort can put everything in order. The launch was planned for June this year but the process has been taking longer than anticipated. They’re still hoping the casino will open its doors by the end of this year.
The oldest hotel of the Island – the Hamilton Princess hotel, has announced that they will apply for a license as well. St. Regis Resort is the first, but definitely not the last!
Like most BOTs, Bermuda has to be as self-sufficient as possible. With its status as an international financial hub, it’s no wonder that 85% of this country’s GDP comes from the service industries. With a history of welcoming mainly US tourists, this island has managed to achieve this goal on an ongoing basis.
Before the COVID-pandemic, around 500K people visited Bermuda each year. As said, approximately 80% are US tourists. The other 20% are mainly Canadians and residents of Britain. The tourism industry was dealt a major blow after COVID-19, but this past summer two years of declines finally ended and the recovery slowly started.
The Minister of Tourism, Mr. Vance Campbell has said that inbound travel is only around 56% of what it was back in 2019. However, a positive note is that visitors are spending more.
The average spend is USD500 more and the average length is 11% longer. With casinos coming to Bermuda, this could get even better.
Category: Gambling industry