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Bermuda Casino Regulator Chief Resigns Following Controversial Regulation Amendment Proposal

The Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission could go under ministerial control following a law tabled by the Government of Bermuda and proposed by the Minister of Tourism. The Gaming Commission Chairman Alan Dunch is quitting his position of Chief since he was under a lot of criticism in the last weeks. This happened only several days after the authorities discussed a legislation which aimed to officially remove him from the leading position.

Last nights Mr. Dunch sent a letter addressed to the Minister of Tourism Jamahl Simmons in which he expresses his feelings regarding the proposed change. He stated that the new law affects the very premises upon which he had initially agreed to take his position in the Casino Gaming Commission. The post of chairman was chosen by him because he knows that the commission is going to be entirely independent and there would not be any kind of interference in the operation of various political parties and individuals.

The former Chairman is also a director at MJM law firm and in his statement towards Mr. Simmons, he asked him to look out for everyone’s best interest and withdraw the proposal for changes in the legislation. According to Mr. Dunch, the amendments offered by the Tourism Minister would affect the gaming field in a negative way as they could make the location less appealing to first class operators, as well as corrupt the image of Bermuda of a reliable gaming jurisdiction.

In addition, the outgoing Chairman stated that he is going to resign after the following meeting of the commission and he does this in the hopes of Mr. Simmons reconsidering his amendment proposal. The Casino Gaming Amendment Act 2017 was tabled last Friday in the House of Assembly and it immediately started the conversation among gaming commissioners and experts both at the island and overseas. One of the changes it is going to impose, if approved, is to give the Tourism Minister the power to remove commissioners if he deems it appropriate and without cause.

The Current Regulation in Bermuda

According to the current regulation, they can be removed only if they demonstrate incapability of managing their affairs. Another reason why they could be removed is if there are bankruptcy reasons, or if they have been found guilty of a dishonesty offense. The tension between Mr. Dunch and Mr. Simmons have started this August when the latter sent a letter in which he invited the Chairman to resign. In response to the statements against the proposal, the Tourism Minister said that it will bring the country to the level of other jurisdictions and that it corresponded to the gaming regulation in Singapore.

Mr. Dunch stood behind his words and stated that the original Act deliberately excluded the provisions existing in Singapore from its wording since the authorities desired to establish a commission which is not in any way affected by political influence. Singapore, on the other hand, has an essentially different governance system from the jurisdictions in the United States, which is why such regulation is justified.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.