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Bermuda might tap into gaming market

30 October 2008

BERMUDA -- As reported by The Royal Gazette: "Bermuda could tap into a market worth billions of dollars — but also enter an international legal row — by becoming an offshore host for online gambling.

"The Island is currently assessing its suitability as a centre of Internet gaming, following a path taken by rival jurisdictions including Antigua and Barbuda and Costa Rica.

"It would mean gamblers abroad, most likely from the US, having their wagers processed in Bermuda — giving the betting companies tax breaks on profits and keeping them out of reach of anti-Internet gambling American authorities.

"Several years ago, Antigua turned to Internet gambling — a $12 billion global business — as a way to end its reliance on tourism, a problem Premier Ewart Brown is equally keen to solve in Bermuda.

"In 2000, Antigua's online gaming industry generated $37.5 million in taxes, provided 3,000 jobs and was said to be giving people a route to affluence other than drugs trafficking. However, about five years ago the US introduced laws blocking its residents from using online casinos, claiming it needed to protect children and prevent financial crimes such as money laundering..."

"...Internet gaming is one of a series of possibilities, including casinos and a national lottery, being looked at in the $300,000 feasibility study by the Innovation Group..."

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