Premier Paula Cox and Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier *Photo by Mikaela Ian Pearman
Premier Paula Cox and Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier *Photo by Mikaela Ian Pearman

FRIDAY, NOV. 4, UPDATE 2:55PM: Islanders might get a direct say on whether or not gaming is right for Bermuda.

Ms Cox added that the economic downturn meant the island had to look at new ways of raising cash. The move could pave the way for a casino to be the centerpiece of a redeveloped Hamilton waterfront — if the public backs gambling.

She said: “One option is to look at having a referendum — it isn’t just smoke and mirrors. We are serious about that.

“We have got to be prepared to be a trailblazer. We’re in an economic downturn and we have to look at ways of raising revenue.”

Ms Cox was speaking after Governor Sir Richard Gozney delivered the Throne Speech as Parliament reconvened for the winter session.

The blueprint for Government said that the Department of Tourism would launch a new tourism brand, begin a programme of corporate games, restart the once popular College Weeks and bid to tempt cruise ship visitors to return for a hotel stay.

In his, Sir Richard’s said: “The Government also recognizes that more must be done to promote local entertainment.

“A signature entertainment product is being developed that will headline Bermudian entertainers and provide them with work, especially in hotels where hiring Bermudians is a precondition for securing concessions from Government.”
Government said it was widely accepted that Bermuda lacked activities to occupy tourists.

“As a result, the Department of Tourism will approach cruise ship directors cruise operators and entertainment promoters to increase and promote the number of activities and events available on the island.”

The Throne Speech also stated that a redevelopment of Hamilton Harbour would boost the attractiveness of the island and generate jobs.

The harbourfront project is part of a wider National Infrastructure Strategy, due to be completed before the end of the year.

Sir Richard said: “A key component of the infrastructure strategy is the development of the waterfront in the City of Hamilton.

“The Government, the Corporation of Hamilton and the private sector, under the auspices of Bermuda First, have formed a steering group to drive forward this exciting project.

“The development will generate jobs and transform the waterfront in a manner that preserves its stunning beauty while creating a dynamic new hub for business and entertainment.”

Ms Cox said afterwards: “Partnerships such as this are what we need. As a Government and as a country, we should always be prepared to have these crucial conversations even when they are on thorny issues.”

 

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