Posted on: July 24, 2023, 07:44h.
Last updated on: July 24, 2023, 07:44h.
Just when it seemed like Bermuda was going to finally get its first casino last year, political turmoil got in the way. There is still no gaming in the British Overseas Territory (BOT), but that doesn’t prevent it from maintaining a Bermuda Gaming Commission (BGC). Some of those working for the commission are taking home six-figure salaries.
Exactly how much the executives make is difficult to ascertain – media outlet The Royal Gazette (TRG) has been trying to figure it out, but the BGC won’t cooperate. The head of the commission and its legal team believe it’s privileged information.
The salary information the BGC has provided shows that some executives could be earning as much as $225,000 a year. The organization is eight years old, which leaves many wondering why – with no casinos – the government spends millions of dollars a year on it.
TRG has given various examples of the salary range the BGC pays some of its high-ranking officials. The man in charge of human resources and finance, Dwight Furbert, is reportedly making between $150K-$200K. His LinkedIn page only lists him as an employee of the Government of Bermuda, although he’s also referenced as the VP of Finance and Operations for the Bermuda College Foundation.
Marvin Hanna, Director of Legal for the BGC, earns less than that – his salary range is $125K-$150K. CEO Charmaine Smith pulls down somewhere between $175K-$225K.
TRG has tried to get the commission to be more specific with the details, going so far as to make a request under the Public Access to Information (PATI) Act of Bermuda. Similar to the Freedom of Information Act in the US, it gives Bermudans the right to request information from records held by any public authority, such as the BGC.
However, the commission – specifically, Hanna and Smith – doesn’t feel it has to be forthright with the information. The two executives determined that providing the ranges was more than sufficient.
Based on the information provided, the average annual expense on those employees, as well as Director of Regulation Olu Bademosi, could be around $685K. However, it should be pointed out that not all of the executives have been in their positions for a year.
That’s apart from the money the BGC gives its board. Previously, it was revealed that this total could be around $85K.
This essentially means that the government is giving BGC-related executives at least $770K per year. A PATI Act request from earlier this year shows that there is also an executive administrator, a research analyst, a licensing and compliance officer, a compliance inspector, a licensing inspector and a technology and compliance officer. Their salaries, however, aren’t available.
Still No Progress
Bermuda was on track to onboard two casinos, the first of which was to be a property at the St. Regis Bermuda Resort. It still hasn’t gotten off the ground, though. The second casino, planned for the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, lost its casino partner when Century Casinos bowed out this past January.
There still doesn’t appear to be any progress on launching casino gambling. If the government is working on something, it’s not sharing it with the rest of the world.
The Bermudan government has given the commission $3.76 million in the form of grants since its inception. It also has interest-free loans of $2.1 million and the right to borrow almost $10 million through a government guarantee.
What this all means to the BGC’s bottom line isn’t completely clear. As TRG pointed out, the commission hasn’t divulged its audited finances for the past three years. This is despite employing two financial officers, at least from October of last year through this past March, and working with a local accounting firm.