Minister of Tourism, Development and Transport Shawn Crockwell
Minister of Tourism, Development and Transport Shawn Crockwell

The Opposition Leader has called the recent Singapore casino trip a waste of time and taxpayers’ money.

Marc Bean told the Bermuda Sun yesterday: “Of course it’s a tremendous waste of tax money, but not only that, the minister stands up and says we have selected the Singapore-Aruba model and then they get on a plane to research it. Isn’t that the cart before the horse? It tells me it’s not genuine.”

Minister of Tourism, Development and Transport Shawn Crockwell  and Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs Mark Pettingill recently travelled to London and Singapore to speak with legal counsel, government and casino officials about gambling regulations.

In London, Mr Crockwell and Mr Pettingill met with 2 Hare Court, which they described as “leading law chambers with expertise in advice pertaining to legislative and regulatory structures of casino gaming jurisdictions.”

In Singapore, the delegation met with another law firm, attorneys involved with the gambling industry, the Singapore attorney general, Singaporean prosecutors and police, casino operators, social service officials and tax authorities.

“The fact-finding trip to Singapore couldn’t have gone any better,” said Mr Crockwell through a statement. “The information and insight provided was absolutely invaluable and will help ensure Bermuda avoids many of the mistakes made in other jurisdictions as we move forward with the integrated casino resort model.”

Mr Bean, meanwhile, said the cost of the trip should be made public and questioned whether any new information was gleaned from the trip.”
“You’ve had no transparency,” said Bean. “That’s been a hallmark of their term in government. We’re going to be awaiting the answer from our parliamentary requests. 

“We’ve requested to see all ministerial travel within the last 14 months. Not every minister travels a lot, I understand that. But when you look at the premier, Crockwell and the AG in particular? They are jet setters.”

Mr Crockwell’s office declined to comment for this story.