Tourism Minister Jamahl Simmons stated today that a new Gaming Commission Chairman will be announced “early next week”, following the resignation of lawyer Alan Dunch.

In a statement released this morning, Minister Simmons said: “Last night I received and have accepted the resignation of Mr Alan Dunch as Chair of the Bermuda Gaming Commission. I thank him for his service and will announce his successor early next week.”

The resignation comes less than a week after the Minister tabled new legislation empowering him to sack members of the commission, including the Chairman.

In a letter sent to the Minister, Mr Dunch said the new Bill “completely undermines the fundamental premise upon which I agreed to serve as chairman of the Casino Gaming Commission, namely that the commission would be a wholly autonomous, independent regulatory body which would operate free from political interference and government dictate”.

He urged the Minister to withdraw the amendment because it could “impede Bermuda’s ability to attract first-class people of the utmost integrity to both operate and regulate the gaming industry here”.

Mr Dunch’s letter states: “It is my sincere hope that in making this decision to resign, you and the Government might now consider it unnecessary to move forward with the proposed amendments and, in the best interests of Bermuda, choose instead to withdraw the Amendment Act which… is ill-advised and could do irreversible harm to the reputation of our country.”

His resignation takes effect on December 6th.