Bermuda - Gaming expert warns of ‘recipe for disaster’

A plan to bring the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission under ministerial control has been described as “flying in the face” of best practice and a “recipe for disaster” by overseas experts.

Industry insiders in the United States, including one who helped to draft Bermuda’s casino gaming legislation, said the fledgeling industry needed a regulatory body that could make decisions without political interference and with a high degree of integrity.

They insisted the Casino Gaming Amendment Act 2017, tabled by tourism minister Jamahl Simmons last Friday in the House of Assembly, would jeopardise that and could have a “chilling effect” on the island’s progress towards entering the casino industry.

The Bill would compel the commission to follow the directions of the minister and give him power to fire commissioners without cause.

Fredric Gushin, managing director of Spectrum Gaming Group, which worked for the Bermuda Government to help draft the island’s Casino Gaming Act 2014 and has also worked for the Singapore Government, said gaming commissions had to be accountable but the minister’s amendment was not the way to ensure that.

Mr Gushin added: “Gaming commissions around the world are created to be independent, as much as possible, from the political process because experience has generally been that politics and gaming don’t mix very well.

“It usually results in an implosion or an explosion.”

Read more at The Royal Gazette

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