The island nation of Bermuda is set to build its first casino after the Bermuda Gaming Commission (BGC) awarded a license to St. Regis Bermuda Resort. The announcement comes nine years after Bermuda’s Parliament first approved the development of Casinos on the Island and several months after the hotel submitted its casino license application. The St. Regis Hotel is on the east side of the main island and opened in May of 2021.
In a statement on Monday, Premier David Burt said, “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.” Burt continued to explain how the development of the casino industry is one of the pillars of the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan and will bring further opportunities for investments in the country’s tourism industry.
After an in-depth review, the BGC determined that the St. Regis Bermuda Resort met all legislative suitability requirements and can now take the operational steps needed to get the casino up and running. The hotel will need to form a casino compliance committee, set up internal controls, recruit and train staff, and purchase and install appropriate gaming equipment.
In January, the BGC stated they were hopeful that the country’s first casino would open in June. However, the opening date of the casino will depend on the speed at which St. Regis can meet all government-mandated opening requirements and navigate the commission’s review and approval process. The process is already taking longer than expected.
The St. Regis Hotel could be the first of Bermuda’s hotels to open a casino, but it likely will not be the last. The Hamilton Princess, the island’s oldest hotel, has also announced its intent to open a casino. Others are likely to follow.
Prior to the pandemic, approximately 500,000 tourists visited Bermuda each year – after two difficult years for the hospitality and tourism industry, visitors are slowly returning. Minister of Tourism Vance Campbell has said that inbound travel is at 56% of 2019 numbers. He also said that the tourists who do visit Bermuda are staying longer and spending more money during their stays. The average length of stay has increased by 11%, and the average spend is up about $500. This could be good news for the nation’s future casino industry.
Bermuda has long been a favorite destination for tourists. Touting pristine beaches, idyllic weather, and luxurious resorts, this island nation is well connected to North America. Direct flights to L.F. Wade International Airport in Bermuda’s St. George Parish arrive from Miami, New York, Charlotte, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, London, and Toronto.
The nation’s famous pink–sand beaches are hotspots for sunbathing, snorkeling, swimming, and diving. And with 21 miles of beach to choose from, visitors have a variety of choices – from the half-mile-long Warwick Long Bay Beach to Bermuda’s most famous beach, Horseshoe Bay, a wide crescent beach with crystal-clear water that plays host to many of the island’s exciting events.
Bermuda’s charm certainly doesn’t stop at the beach – it is also a hotspot for foodies. The island is renowned for its culinary scene that showcases the rich history of the island and its culture. British, Portuguese, African, Caribbean, and Native American influences shape the nation’s unique cuisine that is rich in seafood and fresh island produce. Bermuda is a rum drinker’s paradise and the birthplace of the popular Dark ‘n Stormy and the Rum Swizzle cocktails.
Travel and tourism on the island certainly took a hit during the pandemic. However, it is showing signs of recovery. The development of new casinos should be a boon to the local economy, creating jobs and attracting new visitors to this exciting island paradise.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com