A small sampling of Bermudans polled indicates the local attitude may have become favorable to introducing casinos.
MP Charles Swan, who serves the Southampton West Central constituency, told the Bermuda Sun that early results show 71 percent are in favor of legislation that would allow gaming. That compares to only 13 percent opposed, with 16 percent still undecided.
The preliminary results are based on interviews with 40 people, only 3.5 percent of constituents. However, they are seen to be similar of those garnered in a poll by MP Kim Swan, conducted in his St. George’s West constituency.
Swan began polling in early December and has reached 7 percent of his constituents. So far, 63 percent are in favor of legalizing gaming, 22 percent are opposed and 15 percent undecided.
“There definitely seems to be something of a trend,” says Kim Swan. “Charlie’s constituency is very different from mine, but there definitely seems to be a shift in opinion.”
Separately, a poll of 400 Bermudans conducted by MindMaps for the Royal Gazette newspaper found that 60 percent of those asked think that gaming should be legalized.
Of those aged 65 and over, only 44 percent were in favor of legalization. But the 45-54 demographic showed 77 percent answered “yes” to the question: “Should gambling be legalized in Bermuda?”
Thirty percent of respondents were opposed to gaming and 9 percent did not know or refused to answer.
On the subject of cruise ships being allowed to operate their casinos while docked at Bermuda, Charles Swan is undecided. However, he said if they are allowed to open their casinos after a certain hour, they could be asked to share revenue with their host.
“I believe that a multi-party approach needs to be used to explore the entire issue from research to implementation, including the private sector. An independent exploratory committee should be considered,” he said.