Israel’s tourism minister has said he wants to see a casino in the southern part of the nation.
Israel Business reported that at a meeting of the Knesset in June, Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov said, “The tourism ministry and I as tourism minister support the establishment of a casino in southern Israel, which will serve not only tourists but also Israel’s residents.”
Locations suggested by Misezhnikov included Eilat, Arad, Yeruham and the Dead Sea area.
Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee Carmel Shama-Hacohen of the Likud party warned that a casino could lead to gambling addiction. He said that access to the casino by Israelis would have to be limited.
Misezhnikov responded by saying that past studies all favor a casino in Israel.
“We can’t set up a casino for tourists only and separate between the tourists and the locals,” said Misezhnikov. “If the Israeli can’t enter, they’ll continue traveling abroad to gamble, and the state will lose millions of shekels in income.”
Israel Business noted that Misezhnikov failed to say how he would promote the establishment of a casino, something which has been discussed by every tourism minister and some finance ministers for the past 20 years.
Separately, in Jordan, the parliament will finally get to hear the report on the 2007 Dead Sea Casino deal when it convenes for an extraordinary session.
The item was added to the agenda after 35 lawmakers threatened to boycott the session otherwise.
A special parliamentary committee that investigated the deal concluded its work recently. However, detailed information has not been released as parliament is in recess.