Bermuda may well see itself as the ‘safe haven’ for online gambling sites as many countries, including the United States, try to curtail the hobby.
Premier Emil Brown, the country’s head executive, cites the example of capital Antigua – in 2000 it created 3,000 jobs within the online gambling industry as well as generating $37.5 million in taxes related to online gambling.
Brown said that the online gambling industry was a way for Bermudan people to make money without drug smuggling. Brown is looking for a way to end his country’s reliance on tourism income, however the ‘Antigua Model’ was lost in 2006 with the passage of the US’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
Brown has also recently considered opening casinos on the island, and laws were relaxed regarding gambling on docked cruise ships. Brown's predecessor as Premier, Renee Webb, had a refreshing statement about online gambling. 'I was publicly in support of legalising gambling. Firstly, because it already exists through bingo, horse-racing, football pools and Crown and Anchor. So you are not legalizing gambling but extending what already exists nationwide.'