Bermuda’s House of Assembly is moving forward with amendment to the country’s gaming regulations which would allow for casino fees to be waived or deferred in exceptional circumstances.
The Casino Gaming (Casino Fees) Amendment Regulations 2020 would also change provisions for funds earmarked for dealing with problem gambling.
“Honourable Members will recall that the regulations call for a casino licence application fee of $600,000, a provisional licence issue fee of $1.4 million and a licence fee of $1m,” stated David Burt, the premier of Bermuda, on 3 July. “That’s $3m payable before the first dice are rolled or a card is dealt.”
He said that while the current regulations did not “consider economic changes which would impact the ability of an investor or prospective casino operator” to pay the fees, this has now been addressed in the amendment.
The new rules would allow the minister responsible for gaming to waive or defer payment of a fee in its entirety or in part for a set period in exceptional circumstances. He added that these included a state of emergency, a public health emergency, “or in the event of hurricanes or an event which significantly and negatively impacts a sector of the economy or the community in Bermuda”.
“In this pandemic recovery period, Bermuda will distinguish itself in a crowded marketplace clamouring for investment by demonstrating flexibility and speed,” Burt added. “We must anticipate the needs of investors and do what we can to keep existing investors at the table.”