Bartlett scolds casino critics - Tuesday 27th of May 2008

In his most scathing remarks yet against the detractors of casino gambling, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, on the weekend described their objections as irrational and illogical and maintained that the attraction would be controlled.

"Dont be carried away by the notion that casino gambling is going to be rampant in Jamaica," Bartlett insisted Saturday at his East Central St James Education Council annual Teachers Awards held in this tourist resort city. "You wont see a casino in every corner of Jamaica."

He said the notion that casinos would be set up on every corner of the island in a similar fashion to betting shops or cash pot outlets, leading to Jamaicans becoming addicted, was driving the irrational fears.

"I have no fear, and I want to dispel the fear that may exist," a resolute Bartlett told a packed ballroom at the Rose Hall Resort and Country Club.

He was responding to chairman of the function, Sam Reid, who had earlier expressed hope that casino gaming would not be established under Bartletts watch as minister. Reid, who is principal of Farm All-Age School in Green Pond, St James, said such a move would result in the moral decay of the nation and further propel the all pervasive get-rich- quick mentality.

But Bartlett maintained that, as pointed out by Prime Minister Bruce Golding, casino gaming was intended only as a part of the tourism product offering and would represent no more than 15 per cent of the total experience.

"The policy of including casino gaming as an input in the tourism experience in Jamaica is not intended to become a practice of every Jamaican," said Bartlett. "The PM has made the point that gaming and casino would be no more than 15 per cent of the total experience."

Bartlett said the first such entity, which the prime minister has mandated to be a minimum 1,000 rooms at a minimal investment of US$1.5 billion, is soon to be established in Montego Bay, regarded as the islands tourism capital.

"The first one we are looking at, which the PM announced, is likely to be in Montego Bay, Rose Hall near here," Bartlett explained. The developers, he added, had estimated the project to generate $13 billion annually and employ some 12,000 people.

Bartlett said the development would consist of a marina, an entertainment complex for high-class cabaret shows and musical productions, and fine dining.

"Its an opportunity for more employment," he added, explaining that in addition to direct tourism jobs, the project would result in additional employment in the transport and other associated sectors.

Casino gambling, he maintained, was an option the Government was committed to providing for its visitors. "Casino gambling is not for every Tom, Mary, Dick and Harry," declared Bartlett. "It is for those who come here and want to enjoy this option.""

Other news from around the same time

US slump deals bad hand to gambling - Tuesday 27th of May 2008

JAMES PACKERS publicly listed gambling company, Crown, and the poker machine maker Aristocrat are br....

Ontario man wins $1 million at poker tournament in Barcelona - Tuesday 27th of May 2008

An Ontario man who captured the million-dollar first prize at a poker tournament in Barcelona on the....

Betting chain set to rebrand - Tuesday 27th of May 2008

MORRISONS, the Edinburgh-based bookmaker, is to rebrand under a different name as it plans to expand....

Casino giant lobbying for major Irish operation - Tuesday 27th of May 2008

Executives from one of the biggest casino operators in the world have been lobbying government depar....

Hundreds turn out for casino job fair - Tuesday 27th of May 2008

Chris Curry will soon have a new job as a slot-machine attendant.Ashley Mehrer was hired as a player....

Crown Casino loses $100,000 chip - Tuesday 27th of May 2008

A BRAZEN thief who swiped a $100,000 gaming chip from a highly secure area within Melbournes Crown C....

Promises kept, problems remain after 30 years of Atlantic City casinos - Tuesday 27th of May 2008

The ads were titled "Help Yourself, Help Atlantic City, Help New Jersey," and they made a series of ....

Cash flow, revenue dip in quarter for Harrahs - Tuesday 27th of May 2008

Harrahs Entertainment on Friday joined other gaming companies and posted decreases in quarterly reve....

Casino Location of $90M project announced; site considered a temporary setback for economic development by critics - Tuesday 27th of May 2008

Locating the provinces first and only casino complex in uptown Moncton is a potential "missed opport....

Court grants licence to gambling operator - Tuesday 27th of May 2008

Plans for another amusement arcade in Harringay took a step forward this week after a licence was aw....