Nevada Governor Suggests Casino for Israel’s Desert
Brian Sandoval, the governor of Nevada, has held discussions with political leaders in Israel about introducing casino gambling to the country. Sandoval visited Israel in October as part of a trade mission and held discussions with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres.David Siegel, the Los Angeles-based consul general, said that gambling is an area of interest, “It’s not in the tangible phase yet, but it’s something that we’re looking at.” He said that it might be possible to build a casino in the heart of the Negev desert.
Siegel went on to explain that Israel could use Nevada’s knowledge of how to build in the desert. The Negev accounts for 60% of Israel’s land but only 8% of the population live there.
Prior to the legalization of gambling in the 1930s, Las Vegas was an almost empty desert town with just 5,000 people living there. Now over 40 million people visit a year and gaming funds one fifth of the state budget.
However, any potential gambling development in Israel has numerous hurdles to overcome; there is a diverse range of political opinions and multiple business interests that come into play.