Craig Cannonier, leader of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance
Craig Cannonier, leader of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance
The Bermuda Democratic Alliance said it is in favour of casinos in Bermuda, but not as currently proposed in the Green Paper.

Craig Cannononier, leader of the BDA, said legislation needs to be in place that "will clearly, fairly and transparently regulate its implementation. This is very important since we do not support all of the recommendations in the Green Paper."

Mr. Cannonier said there were three key elements needed to garner their support for gambling:

1. Reduce the potential anti-social effects of furthering gaming operations in Bermuda.

2. Eliminate the potential for unethical behaviour through potential government interference in gaming operations.

3. Ring fence proceeds from gaming that go to government for particular projects to ensure transparency.

He said: "Though careful implementation and regulation, it is possible to find the middle ground, a better way. The Alliance will only support legislation, which incorporates gaming if we are confident that the process will be open and fair, and that it's implementation will benefit Bermuda as a whole."

Mr. Cannonier added allowing casinos in Bermuda was not a cure-all for everything that ails tourism.

"We believe that gaming has the potential to contribute to our tourism industry, but recognize that this is only one part of a number of measures, which are necessary to re-establish a quality and comprehensive tourism product. Gaming alone will not salvage tourism, but can be a part of the recovery. In short gaming and casinos must not be an illusion of a solution to the failing tourism product and should be just one piece of the puzzle in rejuvenating tourism."

Mr. Cannonier said the BDA is looking forward to healthy debate in the House of Assembly on Friday.

"It is our pledge that if the necessary controls are not put in place when a bill is tabled we will not be able to support it."