According to local media reports, US-based Century Casinos has terminated its plans to construct a casino in Bermuda, at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, citing continuing time delays. President and CEO Peter Hoetzinger, who has been involved in the development for eight years, said that with the existing legislative framework, the company could not foresee the project being completed in a reasonable time, if at all.
“We joined the Hamilton Princess casino project eight years ago. In 2017, the project received a provisional casino license. Since then – for the last five years – we have tried to get this project up and running, but with the current legislative framework, we do not assume this project can be realized in a reasonable time frame or at all. We have therefore decided not to continue our attempts to implement casino operations in Hamilton any further and to leave the casino project,” Hoetzinger said, as reported by The Royal Gazette.
Peter Hoetzinger, president and CEO of Century Casinos
The hotel also announced that they would be suspending the search for a new operator until the Bermuda Gaming Commission is able to provide a “viable path forward.” A spokesman for the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club commented: “We are disappointed that our designated casino partner no longer wishes to pursue the project.”
“While we continue to believe that gaming represents an attractive amenity for Bermuda’s visitors, we have paused our search for a new operator while we await a clearer road map from the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission on a viable path forward to seeing a casino open its doors,” the hotel added.
In 2017, backers of the casino predicted that it could create up to 100 jobs. It was to be owned by the hotel’s owners, the Green family, and managed by Century Casinos. The original plans included a casino floor of 9,500 sq ft with 14 gaming tables, nearly 200 slot machines, and one automated roulette table, to be housed in the Harbourview Ballroom.
The move is expected to be a big blow for the Government, which sees the casino gaming industry as one of its four key areas of economic stimulus. In October, St Regis was also granted a casino license, but there is still no date set for an opening there either. Progress in getting the industry up and running has been beset by delays. According to legislation passed in 2014, up to four casinos are allowed on the island.
Both the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club and the St Regis hotel in St George’s submitted applications for licenses and the Premier of Bermuda, David Burt, predicted that the island’s first casino would open by the end of 2021.
According to a statement from the Bermuda Gaming Commission, “the opening date of the casino is entirely dependent on the casino operator meeting all legislative requirements for the opening which will be subject to the commission’s review and approval.” The regulator further said that it “continues to be ready to effect regulatory and supervisory responsibilities.”