Government Favors Casino Legislation - Thursday 12th of May 2005

After years of debate, the government is moving forward at a brisk pace towards legalizing casinos in Israel. According to projections from Tourism Minister Avraham Hirschson, a casino will be up and running within 18 months. The minister is optimistic, hoping to present the bill to Knesset by year’s end.Legislation is being prepared and the cabinet is expected to approve the legalized gambling in the near future.

Hirschson has already met with Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and he hopes to construct a casino strip in Eilat, new hotels containing casinos, restaurants and entertainment centers. Not everyone is as optimistic as Hirschson. Yahad MK Ran Cohen announced he plans to oppose the bill, explaining it is a known fact that casinos bring crime along with them. Cohen added that “enlightened countries are working to close casinos down but we are lagging behind and are working towards legitimizing them.?Experts estimate legalized gambling would draw an additional million tourists a year.

www.israelnn.com

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