The first casino in Bermuda became an authentic feature when David Burt, the Premier of Bermuda, announced the opening of the island’s first casino in 2021.
This announcement, made just after a hundred days in office, is also approving the creation of a digital bank which is also vital to the Casino in Bermuda and a part of the PLP election platform in 2020.
According to the Premier, his cabinet has approved the digital bank creation since January, but the actualization would take a while. Burt equally said that traditional banks had been a significant barrier preventing casino development and the growth of the gambling industry on the island because they refused to help facilitate profits from gambling.
So, he plans to diversify base ownership. By approving cashless betting in November 2019, he can overcome some problems facing the gambling industry. Hence, he expects that this year 2021, Bermuda will boast of at least one operational casino.
Since 2004, Casino gambling has been outlawed in Bermuda, even on docked cruise ships. The only allowed betting was for raffles, bingo, British or American football, dog and horse races.
However, following the Casino Gaming Act passed in 2019, and the fact that gambling on the Island passed with no opposition in 2016, Casinos can now operate but require resort integration. Therefore, Casinos can function in Bermuda but must happen within a resort.
Currently, four resorts have license eligibility. Two of these resorts are Hamilton Princess Hotel, and St George resort who currently have provisional licenses. St George’s resort, however, currently has plans for a Casino. According to Laura Purroy, the hotel’s general manager of developers, the resort will require Government approval to go ahead with these plans.
As echoed by David Burt, the casino, digital banking, and the Fintech industry’s growth have common denominators – they are all in the early development phases in Bermuda. Yet, the growth of these creative solutions is at the discretion of banking institutions, operators, and regulators – a stance that finance minister Curtis Dickinson had also talked about in 2019.
Therefore, the Premier recognizes that although he would like to hasten the steps towards developing these unique solutions, the current banking system poses severe challenges to innovative businesses such as Fintech and gaming. Even so, Hawaii may soon begin facing the same problems that Bermuda faces as the island also begins planning to create its own casino.