Dear Sir,

Bermuda has never been at a crossroads as critical as the one it faces now.

The 30-year decline of tourism has caused many to forget what a great industry it once was for our island, her citizens and her visitors.

The plain truth is we had internal issues, both labour and political, and while we wrestled with these vexed issues the rest of the world steadily passed us by.

Let us pretend we went to sleep in 1980 and awoke in 2010. We would be aghast at the then and now.

The reason I support Premier Brown's introduction of gaming at resort hotels is because Bermuda needs to compete with the other destinations eating us for lunch.

Many convention groups bypass Bermuda because we do not offer gaming as part of the holiday and entertainment experience.

It is my belief - and that of the Innovations Group who produced the Gaming Report - that the negatives associated with resort gaming are minimal in comparison to the advantages it brings.

It is estimated that 25 per cent of Americans base their decision on where they go on vacation on the inclusion of gaming at the destination. We are missing out on millions of potential visitors.

Hotels need a lifeline. New hotels are still not breaking ground. Bankers tell me having a gaming licence would tip the balance in funding some of these new developments, which have been so long on the drawing boards but choking from lack of financing.

If we see tourism slide any further we will see even more difficulties for Bermuda as more people become unemployed.

Ed Trippe of Tucker's Point said very clearly on Let's Talk TV that another year of 51 per cent occupancy means Tucker's Point will face difficult decisions.

The viability of our tourism future is at stake.

We cannot afford to see another hotel close. We must see hotels built. We must give visitors options.

I support Premier Brown and Government bringing gaming to Bermuda.

Bermuda tourism and the future of resort hotels depends on offering this to our visitors.

Do not let politics or personalities ruin this chance to help be part of Bermuda's tourism revival.

New hotel buildings will help an already ravaged construction industry.

Gaming will create jobs for Bermudians and put the sizzle back in our tourism product.

Vote "yes" to gaming in Bermuda.

Tony Brannon, president and CEO, Brannon Enterprises, Hamilton