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Bermuda’s Gaming Commission receive high salaries but no casinos in sight

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Amidst political turbulence and a lack of progress on casino developments, Bermuda finds itself paying hefty six-figure salaries to executives of its Bermuda Gaming Commission (BGC). The country has yet to witness the establishment of its first casino, but that hasn’t halted the operation of the BGC, leaving many puzzled about the government’s spending choices.

The salaries of BGC employees rise, but the organization hasn’t been functioning

Attempts to uncover the exact salaries of BGC executives have been met with resistance, with the commission refusing to disclose such information, deeming it privileged. However, some figures have emerged, suggesting that certain executives could be earning up to a staggering $225K annually!

Dwight Furbert, overseeing human resources and finance, could be making between $150K-$200K, while legal director Marvin Hanna earns a salary range of $125K-$150K. CEO Charmaine Smith is believed to pull in an impressive $175K-$225K.

Bermuda's Gaming Commission receive high salaries but no casinos in sight

The media outlet The Royal Gazette has endeavored to extract more specific details through the Public Access to Information (PATI) Act, but the BGC has chosen to provide salary ranges rather than precise figures, further fueling curiosity and skepticism.

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Considering the partial information, it’s estimated that BGC-related employees, including Director of Regulation Olu Bademosi, collectively cost around $685K annually, with the board receiving an additional $85K.

In total, the Bermudan government is allocating at least $770K each year for BGC-associated expenses. However, salaries for certain positions, such as executive administrator, research analyst, and compliance officers, remain undisclosed.

As the BGC continues to operate, Bermuda’s casino plans remain stalled. The highly anticipated St. Regis Bermuda Resort casino and the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club casino, both aimed to boost tourism and revenue, are yet to materialize. The departure of Century Casinos from the latter project further complicated matters.

Related: Gaming regulators call on casinos regarding deceptive scam targeting workers

More and more cost for the government

Despite the lack of progress, the government has funded the BGC with grants of $3.76 million since its establishment, accompanied by interest-free loans of $2.1 million and a potential borrowing capacity of nearly $10 million through a government guarantee.

Yet, the commission’s financial transparency has been questionable, with no audited finances disclosed for the past three years. Though it has employed financial officers and collaborated with an accounting firm, the exact financial situation remains obscured.

While the BGC takes center stage, the grand opening of Bermuda’s first casino has yet to unfold. Ambitious plans for two casinos were in the pipeline—the St. Regis Bermuda Resort and the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club. However, progress has been sluggish. Century Casinos withdrew as a partner for the latter, leaving the future uncertain.

Bermuda’s journey to embrace casinos and revitalize tourism faces significant challenges, while the BGC’s existence and its executives’ salaries add complexity to an already intricate narrative. Will Bermuda’s gaming landscape ever see the light of day? As the island navigates political uncertainty and economic considerations, many await the day when the casino dream becomes a reality!

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