Lotteries could help boost charities, sport and education, says BGC chief executive – The Royal Gazette

Updated: January 10, 2022 1:26 PM

More lotteries could be on their way to Bermuda

Gambling watchdogs are in talks with the government about whether to allow more use of lotteries.

Jean Major, chief executive of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission, said the organization had been approached by several charities and groups who wanted to see a change in the law.

Mr Major added that at present only a “very small” number of lotteries were run on the island and discussions with the government were about whether to amend the Lotteries Act 1944 to relax restrictions.

He said allowing charities and other philanthropic organizations to run their own lotteries could benefit areas such as sport.

Mr Major added: “There would be significant benefits from a public policy perspective for charities and benevolent organisations.

“It could benefit areas like education, athletics and the arts.”

Mr Major stressed: “It is 100% in the hands of the government – ​​the commission has no mandate.

“A change in the law would allow lotteries by certain designated groups and sectors.”

Mr Major said the watchdog had not discussed a national lottery with the government.

He explained: “We weren’t asked to review this.”

Ernest Peets, Minister for Youth, Culture and Sport (file photo)

Ernest Peets, the minister for youth, culture and sport, said in November that the government was considering the idea of ​​a national lottery.

He said the money raised could be used to bolster the government’s national sports strategy.

The strategy, designed to help others emulate Flora’s Duffy’s historic Olympic success through increased investment in elite young athletes, was unveiled by the government as part of the Speech from the Throne delivered by Governor Rena Lalgie. , on behalf of the administration of the Progressive Labor Party. Last year.

Mr Peets said one of the possible avenues being explored to help create funding was the introduction of a national lottery system.

National lotteries, like the UK’s, have paid dividends for grassroots efforts, with more than £5.7billion invested in community sport since its launch in 1994.

Money from lotteries in Britain has been used to build new sports centres, maintain playgrounds and expand opportunities for millions of people.

This level of investment through a lottery is not feasible in Bermuda, but Mr Peets revealed the option was being explored to improve funding for sports bodies.

Mr Peets said: “There are conversations going on, which I’m aware of, and I’ve had conversations with national sports governing bodies about this.

“At this time, it’s still a work in progress, but I’m more than willing to move this conversation forward.”

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