The impact of gaming on Bermuda’s economy was questioned during a recent press conference led Minister for Labour and Economy, Jason Hayward. While gaming was initially highlighted as a key strategy in the Economic Recovery Strategy, it has now been replaced with the Economic Development Strategy, which does not prioritize gaming.
Hayward emphasized that gaming was seen as an opportunity to create jobs and stimulate economic activity, but it is no longer a strategic priority. However, he acknowledged that gaming still presents opportunities for the economy.
The press conference also addressed the stalled casino industry in Bermuda. The Bermuda Gaming Commission released minutes from meetings held between March 2022 and February 2023, but little information was provided on why the sector has not progressed. Questions regarding the planned casino at St Regis were left unanswered.
Another topic discussed during the press conference was the fish-processing plant. Hayward stated that it is not expected to be a key priority for the economy moving forward. However, he highlighted that other initiatives outlined in the Economic Development Strategy have the potential to generate economic activity if they are successful.
The conference also touched on the issue of transit visas required visitors from 115 countries. Hayward did not provide specific details but mentioned that the government would release more information soon.
Hayward also mentioned the potential for a vertical farming industry, which has received interest from local and overseas individuals looking to partner with Bermuda to increase local agricultural production. This industry will be a key feature in the Integrated Agriculture Strategy being developed the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Economic Development Strategy is described as a robust plan that will drive economic development in Bermuda. The government is committed to providing regular updates on the progress of initiatives and the priorities set for moving forward.
In terms of reducing the high cost of living in Bermuda, the government is considering expanding the list of products subject to tax deferrals. They are also working on increasing public engagement regarding the progress of plans and strategies.
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