Bermuda worries about US reaction to basing online casinos

Following Bermuda Premier Emil Brown’s announcement that the island nation is considering modeling itself as a base for online casinos, another politician has issued a warning. Finance Minister Bob Richards is worried such a move could anger the United States.

Brown stated reasons for welcoming Internet gambling sites to operate from Bermuda would be a major boost in jobs and revenue, and establish economic growth based on more than just tourism. He expressed concern that without outside investment and economic alternatives, Bermuda’s rampant drug smuggling may continue to grow.

But Richards says that basing online casinos on the island would be dangerous. „The risk is it would be like waving a red flag in the face of a bull, and the US is not the kind of bull you want to be charging at you.“

Richards worries the US may see Bermuda as a source of money laundering if Internet gambling locates there. Still, Antigua has shown that proper regulation can result in an objective bill of health, as it passed the stringent guidelines for British whitelisting recently, allying any fears of laundering.

US reaction may be different than expected as well, as the virulently anti-online gaming Bush administration ends and the presumably friendlier Obama administration begins.