The minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Jamahl Simmons has blamed past members of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission (BCGC) for delays which created a “stumbling block” to finalising regulations.
“Under new leadership, the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission is working with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, via my ministry as the instructing government body, to ensure that these regulations are enacted without further delay,” Simmons stated, in a recent speech before the House of Assembly.
“In fact, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the commission have agreed that for expediency and without sacrificing due diligence in the drafting process, the prudent way forward would be to complete the drafting and enactment of the regulatory package, under the negative resolution procedure, in three phases.”
However, Alan Dunch, former BCGC chairman, stated the commission had completed its work a year ago and expressed surprise that it had taken the government so long to proceed, adding that the suggestion that progress had stalled under his chairmanship was “puzzling at best”.
Meanwhile, Cheryl-Ann Mapp, the new chairwoman of the BCGC, said last month that the regulator had consulted with its international counterparts for advice on alternatives to the island’s three banks, none of which have yet agreed to become involved with the industry.
Dunch had previously warned in November 2016 that it would not be possible to establish a casino industry in the country without the support of the local banks.
On a similar note, Richard Schuetz, former executive director of the BCGC, has claimed negative global publicity surrounding recent amendments to the Casino Gaming Act would deter the correspondent banks and their approval was necessary for local banks processing US dollar transactions.
In his resignation letter, Schuetz raised concerns that the government’s mishandling of the introduction of casinos – such as the failure to develop an anti-corruption infrastructure and an adequate AML framework – could damage Bermuda’s international reputation.
Source: GMB / Casino Review