Bermuda to discuss in-port gambling
HAMILTON, Bermuda — Transport Minister Derrick Burgess today said visiting cruise ships could soon be allowed to operate their casinos while in port in Bermuda.
Burgess told a news conference that he had a series of meetings with top-level executives of six cruise lines in the United States last month when almost all raised the issue of onboard revenue. Burgess predicted that 2012 would be “one of our best ever” with anticipated revenues of around US$85 million. “Bermuda is one of the few ports in the world where ships routinely have multiple night stays and currently the requirement is that the casinos and shops must remain closed while the ships are in port. This has a huge effect on onboard revenue.
“The possibility of opening the casinos in port is an option that I will explore with my cabinet colleagues – perhaps a late-night option from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m (Local time), “ he added.
Burgess also called on Bermuda store owners to consider Sunday openings to make shopping on-island easier for tourists.
He said in-port casino operations, which are currently banned, would not only make Bermuda more attractive to cruise lines, but that some would consider extending their stay on the island for an additional night, boosting income for the island as well as the ships. He told reporters that shipboard shops being allowed to open in port had not been on the agenda, but that he would consider it. “That option could possibly be on the table sometime in the not too distant future as there is always the complaint from the passengers that neither the shops in St George’s nor Hamilton are open on Sundays. “I trust that our shops would consider Sunday afternoon opening while ships are in port,” he added. (CMC)