Now every gambler knows that the secret to survivin’

Is knowin’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep. (Kenny Rogers).

While the OBA has yet to present the public with their position on gaming and a clear directive of what a ‘yes’ vote will mean, it appears that they are busily making deals and promises with those that are in direct line to benefit from its legalization. 

They say they are committed to allowing the people decide the future of gaming, but one wonders what they are telling the developers and investors behind closed doors. 

Remember a ‘yes/no’ vote does not give the voter the details — these will all be decided between OBA and the developer(s).

Finance Minister Bob Richards agreed to give Morgan’s Point Ltd a $125 million non-binding ‘Letter of Comfort’ and to act as a sovereign guarantee to their $2 billion project.   

Reality check. The OBA has made a commitment for a project that comprises a casino before doing a feasibility study on gaming?  

They are making promises to act as a guarantee before we decide as a country whether we wish to legalize gaming. The OBA appears to be stacking the deck for a ‘yes vote’.

Brian Duperreault, chairman of the SAGE Commission, is one of the partners of Morgan’s Point Ltd. Ironically, he will most likely recommend government jobs be cut, yet will collect $125 million in government guarantees. 

His partners, Craig Christensen and Nelson Hunt, have both advocated in favour of gaming.  

Each of us has a role to play in deciding the future of gaming in Bermuda.

Government’s role is to provide the electorate with a balanced presentation of both the economic and social pros and cons. 

Developers have a responsibility to allow the referendum’s democratic process to occur without unduly swaying the voting public with biased studies.

The electorate has a duty to educate themselves about the impact of gaming on our community. 

As the OBA has not presented the public with a position paper on gaming, I would encourage you to take the time to read for background information, the PLP’s Green Paper on gaming and BEST’s (the Bermuda Environmental and Sustainability Taskforce) balanced overview.

Ensure you vote to have your voice heard. Our children’s future depends on how we vote.