Jamaican Government Approve Land Casinos Bills
Jamaican legislators have unanimously approved two bills that will, for the first time, allow casinos to be built on the island.
At present there are only a few hundred slot machines in Jamaica, they are all located either in the capital of Kingston or in popular tourist destinations.
The bills met strong opposition from religious groups on the island who say that casinos will only lead to problems such as debts and gambling addictions.
Jamaica actually legalised casinos two years ago; however, the new bills will allow interested parties to apply for a gambling license.
The news was greeted with enthusiasm by the island’s tourist interests who expect the bills to lead to an increase in tourist traffic.
Evelyn Smith, the President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, said that the association was now waiting to receive details on how the new regulations will be implemented and when they will come into effect.
During the sitting of the senate when the bills were approved Government Senator Noel Sloley said that the island was losing the competitive edge when trying to attract tourists.
He argued that licensed and regulated casino facilities will diversify the tourism product, attract additional investment and lead to an increase in visitor numbers.