THURSDAY, MAR. 18: The Bermuda Hotel Association today released a press statement in response to the Government's Green Paper on Gaming for Bermuda.

Bermuda Hotel Association CEO John Harvey said: "On behalf of the Bermuda Hotel Association, I would like to thank and congratulate the Government for producing and presenting to Parliament the Green Paper on Gaming.

"Hotels in Bermuda have faced more than a decade of challenges and to add another amenity for hotel guest use and enjoyment that has proven to be an extra revenue earner in other jurisdictions will be welcomed by the properties that may be successful in having a gaming facility on their site.

"For other hotels, gaming would afford their guests the opportunity to participate in gaming should they wish to do so.

"I was recently informed that TEGG, a company that was seriously considering one of Bermuda's major hotels for its group meeting business, has selected the Atlantis in the Bahamas solely because that location offers gaming and Bermuda does not.

"The lost business, conservatively estimated at $200,000, is a blow to Bermuda's economy and hotel revenues. Most important, business that goes to another destination has a negative impact on the full employment and earnings of hotel employees.

"For Bermuda to be competitive in an international market, we must provide what today's guests expect, enjoy and demand."