*iStock photo
*iStock photo
21 April 2010

Government’s question for the gambling referendum is sure to provoke controversy as being loaded.

The question is: “Do you favour the introduction of regulated casino gaming for the purposes of creating new jobs for Bermudians and encouraging hotel development?”

PLP Senator Diallo Rabain posted on Facebook: “My question is should a referendum question be worded in such a way that is predicts the outcome of a positive vote as the 2013 one clearly does?

“What happened to just laying the facts out, asking a non-weighted question and allow people to decide? As a disclaimer, I am not saying the gambling will not encourage hotel development and by extension new jobs, however, fair is fair and right is right.

Imagine the rancor if a non-pro-gambling government worded he question like this: “Do you favour in the introduction of casino gaming irrelevant of the social problems it may bring?”

Senator Rabain pointed to the wording the PLP were going to use if they had brought forth a gambling referendum, which read: “Should there be licensed casino gaming in Bermuda?”

David Burt, Shadow Minister for Finance, tweeted: “It is unquestionably loaded” question.

In a press release last week, Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell said this is an exciting time for Bermuda and that approving the introduction of casino gambling may be the game changer that the economy needs. 

Minister Crockwell said in a press release: “The implementation of a regulated and dynamic gaming industry, which includes luxury casinos that cater to our tourists, has the potential of creating a brand new industry for Bermuda which will create new jobs for Bermudians and offer exciting entertainment for our guests. 

“The Cabinet Gaming Committee is in the process of finalizing the Government’s vision for a new gaming industry. 

“Our research shows that if done correctly the introduction of casino style gaming in Bermuda can generate much needed revenue for the Government and provide jobs and even careers for our people.” 

The referendum is expected to take place within the first three months of 2014.