Samoa might soon get a couple of casinos

14/02/2013

Samoa might get not one but two casinos – one of them even as soon as later this year, if things go according to plan. <!--more-->

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Two licences for casinos were awarded last week for setting up casinos in the Pacific island country. One of these has been awarded to the iconic Aggie Greys Beach resort and the other to Resort and Exhibition Tourism Group from China.

Samoan media reports indicated that the Aggie Greys casino is likely to be the first off the blocks and will the be followed by the Chinese group’s venture, which seems to be part of a far bigger complex, that is expected to take shape over a couple of years or more.

Fanene Samau Etuale, chairman of the Gambling Control Authority of Samoa has said seven companies had sent in bids for casino licences. The Chinese bid winner is believed to be looking for 200 hectares of land in the country to build a 500-room hotel for its resort cup casino complex.

Samoan law forbids Samoan citizens from gambling in casinos and the casinos will be open only to tourists with foreign (non Samoan) passports and gambling operations can be run only out of hotels.

The country’s National Council of Churches has strongly criticised the move to allow casinos to set up shop in the country and has warned of increased crime and social unrest. The government expects an influx of wealthy Chinese tourists to visit the country with the added attraction of gambling in the proposed casinos.

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