Samoa’s first Casino opens despite criticisms

Some of the guests at last nights opening briefed by a staffer about how the stakes work

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA: SUNDAY 31 AUGUST 2014: The long awaited casino club finally opened at Aggie Greys Mulifanua Resort last night in a partnership with the Indo Pacific Gaming International.

It is the first to open from two licenses issued by the over a year ago.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi in launching the casino highlighted the positives such as employment opportunities and economic benefits essential to the development of the country.

The casino has been under strong criticisms mainly from the churches and other pressure groups for many months since Parliament amended the law to allow the establishment of casinos in the country.

Tuilaepa said the Government knows that tourism has been an economic booster for the country and having such a place like the casino is another avenue for economic development.

He said he is aware of the concerns raised by church leaders and several non-governmental organisations about casino operations in the country.

He said he understands where the concern is, but as a leader he has to think of ways to sustain and develop the country.

“This is another avenue for our youth to get employment,” said Tuilaepa.

“It is an attraction for tourists and guests staying at any hotel,” said Tuilaepa.

He re-emphasized that by law, no Samoan living on the island is allowed access to the gambling tables.

There are 36 gambling machines which are all connected to the jack box links at a maximum starting value of ST$5,000 value for Jessie place

casino player“On the Queen of Sheba machine, the starting value is ST$10,000 and it can go up to $20,000.

The win can go up to no limit said Lain J. Fairgreen, Head of the Indo Pacific Gaming International.

Owner of the casino business in Samoa Lupesina Frederick Grey expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the government for allowing this venture with Indo Pacific Gaming to go ahead.

The casino was then open to eligible players last night.

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