Alex Scott will abstain from cruise ship casino vote

Former Premier Alex Scott says he would not support any legislation to allow cruise ships to open late-night casinos in port.

Mr. Scott, who introduced anti-gambling laws while he was Premier four years ago, says he would be a hypocrite if he was to give his backing to Premier Ewart Brown’s plan designed to help Bermuda fight off increasing competition from rival cruise destinations.

He said if the legislation reaches the House of Assembly he would abstain from voting.

Explaining his moral stance on gambling, Mr. Scott told The Royal Gazette: „The house gets the profit and the community gets the problems.“

Asked if he would vote against Dr. Brown’s proposal, he replied: „It just might be one of those days I find it hard to get to the House. I would be a hypocrite. It’s not a party position yet. I think the Premier has only said that he’s considering it.“

In 2004, Mr. Scott pushed through legislation to outlaw the Island’s 300-plus gaming machines. He also opposed the casino ship Niobe Corinthian, on which ten people were arrested in a Police raid over the weekend.

Bermuda’s gambling laws have long been the subject of debate, with poker banned in bars but Crown and Anchor allowed at cricket matches.

Opponents claim gambling erodes family values, creates false hope for people, is addictive and incompatible with a Christian lifestyle.