*File photo
*File photo

Social media comments appear to back a move towards ditching a referendum on gambling and using a vote in Parliament instead.

Comments in favour of skipping a referendum and relying on a vote by MPs appeared to outnumber those who wanted a referendum.

A poster on the Bermuda Sun Facebook page said the decision was too important to be left to the chance of a referendum. He added: “The public expects leadership... We hardly need an expensive referendum in our current state.”

Another said: “It’s a worthwhile gamble establishing another source of of income for this island that is depending on foreigners and their dollars.”

But on another Facebook page devoted to Bermuda politics, a writer said: “Gaming is a huge decision with countless social implications and needs to be taken to the people via referendum.”

Another poster on the same page added: “It’s not that big a deal, actually. We’re talking removing it from the criminal code. That’s it... it is simple. No referendum needed.”

And a writer said: “Does anyone else get really tired of hearing about the same issues still being discussed year after year?

“We elected a new Government to get things done and as our elected representatives. I would love to see them determine the best way forward and move on the gaming/casino issue in the very near future.”

But others warned the ruling OBA could face a backlash if they went back on a pre-election platform promise to put the issue to a referendum. One wrote: “How many more election promises should the OBA be given a pass on?”


Viewpoint: Do we need a referendum to decide whether to allow casinos?

Denzil Woolridge, 22

Student

‘No, because not everybody fully understands the economic and social implications of such a decision.’

 

Leona Landy, 60

Waitress

‘Yes, because it’s the people’s choice and so people should have a voice. Why should we not say what we want to happen in our island? I think we should have a say.’

 

Nelson Hunt, 69

Entrepreneur

‘No. We need no referendum. Without gaming, there’s no investment coming to Bermuda. We can build whatever we like but they will not come if there’s no gaming component.’

 

Mark Seamos, 39

Carpenter

‘People should be given the right to choose but $250,000 is a bit much for a referendum. But that’s just a fraction of what they’re going to make off gaming so the cost shouldn’t matter that much. I would let the people decide.’

 

Robert Coombs, 59

Retired

‘No. It should be left to government to decide. We need gaming because it will bring in tourists. It should be under government control and limited to three top hotels – Elbow Beach, Rosewood Tucker’s Point and Fairmont Southampton.’

 

Cindy Harding

Administration

‘Yes. I think it’s a big decision that the country needs to make. It should be a country-wide decision.’