After a season that has seen multiple cruise lines cancel or curtail scheduled cruises to Bermuda, allegedly because of strict casino regulation in port, citizens of the island country now back reform of the rules.
The Bermuda Sun is reporting that their survey finds that 7 of 10 islanders now support relaxed casino regulations, with only 17 percent in complete opposition to the idea.
Bermuda law requires that ships close their casinos while docked in the country. Although not addressed specifically, this was referenced by many analysts as the primary reason cruise lines such as Carnival and Holland America cut back 2012 visits.
Parliament has consistently voted against relaxing the regulations, but now it appears both sides appear in favor.
The Sun poll, taken in mid-December asked 400 residents if they would favor relaxed gambling rules. According to officials, support was consistent, regardless of factors such as age, gender, income or race.
The Sun quoted Buddy Rego, president of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce as saying he wasn’t surprised by the results, and that “Bermudians are looking at ways of being more open and improving our product to tourists.”
“These are desperate times and maybe the more conservative approaches that have been favoured in previous times are being re-considered.”
Henry Hayward, chairman of Meyer group of companies, which acts as agent for most of the cruise ships that come into Bermuda, told the Sun that allowing the ships to open their casinos ‘made sense’.
According to Hayward, 90% of passengers don’t go ashore in late evening hours, and allowing the ship to open after 9 or 10PM until the early morning hours made sense.
“That way it would not affect the local economy.”
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