Israel set for first legal casino

The coming year will see Israel get its first legal casino after Tourism Ministry officials came to an agreement with the Israel Land Administration to build a casino and resort on 12 acres of land on Eilat’s northern shore.

A hotel, commercial centres and other tourism venues are expected to built alongside the casino.

Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Israel’s Tourism Minister, has hit back at critics who claim that the casino will increase crime and says this first casino will be the first of many.

"A casino in Eilat is one of our main objectives for 2008 and its success will lead to the establishment of additional casinos throughout the country. As a former law enforcement official, I can tell those who oppose the idea that a casino would downsize the extent of the illegal gambling operations in Israel as well as the related criminal activities," said Aharonovitch.

Aharonovitch said the number of illegal gambling facilities in Israel is in the hundreds, scooping in just over $3.6 billion a year.

Aharonovitch also said the casino will give the area an economic boost and help Eilat compete with neighbouring cities such as Aqaba, Taba and Sharm el-Sheikh – all of which have casinos.

Editor, - 2008-01-09 11:46:21

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