FRIDAY, OCT. 24: Bermuda could get its own lottery, along with hotel casinos, after Government confirmed today they are taking a serious look at the island's gambling laws.

Making a formal announcement this morning, Premier Ewart Brown appeared to acknowledge that he may be putting himself on collision course with the church lobby. However, he also said that many Bermudians would welcome being able to gamble on the island, rather than having to make gaming trips to the States.

The Premier said that Government and the Bermuda Hotel Association have jointly hired consultants to conduct a feasibility study. The study will examine how much revenue gambling could raise for the country through tax, while also looking at the social and economic effect that new gambling laws are likely to have on ordinary Bermudians.

He said: "Gaming is not unknown to Bermuda or Bermudians. Certain gaming pursuits have become culturally permissible. These include Crown and Anchor, high-stakes card games, bingo and the various pools. Additionally, it is fair to say that considerable numbers of Bermudians travel to well known gambling cities for the sole purpose of that activity."

He continued: "I am well aware of the strong feelings about gaming that are prevalent in the community. The aim of this feasibility study is to openly and fully address all aspects of this issue so that we make decisions based on facts."

The Premier added that study will also assess the feasibility of a Bermuda lottery and will also include "an overview of internet wagering to determine Bermuda's suitability as a centre of internet gaming."

No further details were provided on either of those potential schemes.