There is much debate in Bermuda regarding the arrival of casino gambling. Lest we spend too much time arguing the point, please understand: Bermudians gamble already. The question is: how should we deal with casino gambling?
For those who do wish to argue, you must know we can access betting on horses, greyhounds and sports competitions; play bingo and buy raffle tickets; and, for two days a year, (legally) play crown and anchor. Let's assume that for the other 363 days a year, the card games are behind closed doors. But this is really about visitors.
As we consider the possibilities, we should pay attention to Atlantic City, New Jersey. The comparisons aren't direct but, as a gambling destination since 1978 now battling fierce competition in what many term a 'mature market', it seems sensible to review its situation.
Lisa Selin Davis, writing for Planning, the magazine of the American Planning Association, has done just that. In an article entitled Plan B for Atlantic City, she examines the steps Atlantic City is taking to re-invent itself. Efforts to make casinos part of the urban fabric are striking as they speak to the need, in Bermuda, to help visitors have a 'whole island experience'. The Bermuda National Tourism Master Plan provides a framework for us to make that happen.