Cashless Casino Gambling on the Horizon in Bermuda

  • Bermuda Premier David Burt is pushing for casinos to finally be opened after years of delay
  • Burt is taking over responsibility for the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission
  • He wants the casinos to use a cashless system despite past reluctance by local banks
  • Burt is confident that the banks are on board and casinos will soon move forward
Scanning a QR code on a smartphone
Bermuda Premier David Burt is determined to get the country’s casino industry off the ground and implement cashless casino gambling. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Burt taking over Gaming Commission

Bermuda Premier David Burt is taking the reins to not just get the country’s casinos launched, but to also have them offer only cashless casino gambling. Despite being legalized in 2014, casinos have yet to open on the island.

Burt announced on Thursday that he would be taking over responsibility for the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission (BCGC). He said this change is “consistent with my responsibilities for economic development.”

main obstacle to launching casinos had been the hesitancy of local banks to deal with gaming proceeds

Speaking at a press conference that evening, Burt outlined his aim of getting casinos operating as soon as possible. He said the main obstacle to launching casinos had been the hesitancy of local banks to deal with gaming proceeds. For this reason, Minister of Finance Curtis Dickinson had been tasked with running the BCGC.

Previous bank opposition resolved

Confident that Dickinson has made progress with the banks, Burt said: “I believe they’ve resolved to go forward with a cashless model and I think that the banks are comfortable around the compliance issues that surround that.”

Dickinson has been pushing for a cashless casino model for some time. In February, he told the House of Assembly that when he was in the private sector as an executive vice-president at Butterfield Bank, he pushed for the BCGC to adopt a cashless model as it “minimizes risk.” The Commission, however, was opposed to the idea.

Back in September 2017, Alan Dunch, the chairman of the BCGC at the time, said that casino operators were not in favor of a cashless system, citing concerns that gambling addiction could become more prevalent as not using cash might make gamblers feel like they were not risking or losing real money. 

Major innovation in post-COVID gaming

With casinos across the world reopening following forced closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, they need ways to make the casino experience as safe as possible for patrons and staff. This has led to the implementation of extensive health and safety protocols property-wide. 

One measure that some casinos have been looking at is the use of cashless gaming, which would reduce potential transfer of the virus. Scientific Games has developed a solution that allows gamblers to play table games and slots without having to use cash, instead using a contactless mobile payment app.