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A Gambling Map to Peace

With talk of building a casino in Israel rife throughout the gambling news sites of the world at the moment, the question arises: could land-based gambling, considered taboo by many of a religious persuasion, be a key to peace in the Middle East between Israelis and Arabs?

There has already been a casino opened in Jericho, in the Palestinian Authority, but years of conflict have prevented it from making a difference to the overall Palestinian economy.

Of course, we’re not talking about gambling between the populations per se, though interactions between Jewish and Arab in a casino environment could make waves in terms of bringing people closer together. And in terms of bringing in tourists, well, a casino or two or several has the ability to do just that.

No, this is about economics. In situations like exist now, only the terrorist organizations and the government bodies hold most of the economic cards. There has already been a casino opened in Jericho, in the Palestinian Authority, but years of conflict have prevented it from making a difference to the overall Palestinian economy. An Israeli casino, or even a joint Israeli-Palestinian gambling industry, could provide jobs to people from both Israel and the Palestinian Authority and give citizens of both a chance to spend their money – and win money – and give themselves a place to relax outside of years of conflict.

Whether or not the stories are true about plans for an Israeli casino being seriously considered by a cabinet in turmoil due to political maneuvering in the Jewish state, it is worth thinking about the very real possible value such a casino opening, and the re-opening of the Jericho casino, could make for the populations of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. There is a long road that must be traveled in order for a true, lasting, honest peace to be made – but if Israelis and Palestinians can gamble while their leaders display leadership qualities (or a lack thereof), the road might be a little more tolerable.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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