Bermuda Taking a Gamble…Finally

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The flag of Bermuda flies along the commercial and retail district on Front Street, Hamilton, Bermuda. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP

Bermuda is one of the most beautiful islands in the world with its sun-splashed, pink-sanded beaches and unmatched crystal blue water.

But it’s always been lacking one attraction that many travelers believe is a must – a casino! But that’s about to change.

St. Regis Rolls the Dice

Bermuda’s Parliament approved casino development more than nine years ago, but it wasn’t until the St. Regis Hotel got its casino license application approved, that casino gambling on the island is finally nearing its debut.

In a statement released to the press, Premier David Burt said, “This represents new employment opportunities and a potential increase in hospitality jobs. The process has been a long and detailed one in which the Commission and the hoteliers have worked together to ensure that all aspects of the statutory requirements are met.

“The hotel’s owners have demonstrated a genuine commitment to Bermuda and to the East End of the Island, and we truly value their contribution to the tourism industry and the community.”

“The development of the casino industry is one of the four lead initiatives of the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan and with this announcement Bermuda moves a step closer towards realizing that goal. This bodes well for additional investment into Bermuda and into tourism in particular.”

Launch Date Still Unsure

As far as when the casino will be operational, there are regulatory steps that must be taken by the hotel in order to facilitate its opening.

The Bermuda Gaming Commission issued a release of its own regarding the approval of St. Regis’ gaming license. “The commission has determined that the applicant has met the legislative suitability requirements for a license under the Gaming Act and Regulations.”

“These are predominantly operational in nature which will include, but are not limited to, the establishment of the casino’s compliance committee, the finalization of internal controls to ensure compliance with the statutory framework, the recruitment and training of employees, and the purchase, shipping, and installation of gaming equipment and systems.

“The opening date of the casino is entirely dependent on the casino operator meeting all legislative requirements for opening, which will be subject to the commission’s review and approval.”

The Princess Wants In

The island’s most historic and iconic hotel, the Hamilton Princess, has also applied for a gaming license, and although they won’t be the first to gain a license, all indicators are that they will be getting approval in the near future for a casino to grace its luxurious facility.

“Notice is hereby given of the intention to apply for a license under Section 114A of the Companies Act 1981 for Hamilton Princess Casino Limited.”

The rumor mill has it that the St. Regis will have its casino up and running in June of 2023, while the Princess Hamilton could also be dealing blackjack in early 2024. The addition of casinos on the previously gambling-barren island is expected to increase tourism.

Day trips from cruise ship passengers are frequent, but many tourists who are seeking a tropical island destination for days or even weeks will opt for one that has casino gambling, and this will no longer be a stumbling block for those who want to pull a slot, roll the dice, or spin the roulette wheel once Bermuda casinos open their doors.