The CURB Central Council gives its supports to the call for a referendum, as promised by both political parties, and urges its members and supporters to sign the petition circulated by a concerned group of Bermudians at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/bermuda-gaming-referendum

CURB believes it is the right of every Bermudian to have a say with regard to whether they wish gaming, and all its concomitant social problems, to be established in our small island home.  Gaming will change the very social fabric of our community and set us on a course, which will be difficult to reverse.  This recession will pass, but gaming will stay along with its social problems.  As such we urge Government to consider the will of the people in this regard and reconsider its decision to move forward with legislation without the people’s agreement, collaboration or consultation.

CURB believes a rushed implementation of an integrated resort model of gaming is ill-advised and brings with it a multitude of social concerns, the most important of which is the substantial affect gaming has on the poorer segment of our community.  In Bermuda, the poor of our community are predominantly Black Bermudians, and this is a direct result of 211 years of oppression codified in law (slavery); 137 years of oppression codified in culture (segregation): followed by years of discrimination and prejudice.

Another social problem is the anticipated substantial increase in crime that will follow the introduction of gaming.  The Grinols & Mustard 2006 landmark, longitudinal, independent study conducted over 20 years on the impacts of gaming and crime showed that crime in most instances doubled, e.g. robbery increased by 50%, with proposed efforts to offset anticipated increases in crime being unsustainable. 

Our society is well aware of the negative impacts of crime not only on the residents of this island, but also on the perceptions of both international business and tourists visiting this island, and an increase in crime is only going to drive many of them away.

CURB’s concern is that once again we see legislation being introduced that will negatively affect the Black community, repeating a history of discrimination that is all too recent.   We strongly believe that all legislation should go through an Equality Impact Assessment to ensure that it does not discriminate or disenfranchise any segment of our community, especially given the history of our past and the ongoing legacy of that history that continues to play out in our community.

CURB is currently working on a position paper on the proposed introduction of gaming in to Bermuda and this will be released to the public shortly.