International edition
September 21, 2020

Tourism Minister said that studies have all been in favor of building a casino

Casino in Israel should serve tourists and Israelis, official testifies

(Israel).- Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov envisions a casino for south Israel that would cater to tourists as well as Israelis. "We can't set up a casino for tourists only and separate between the tourists and the locals," he told the Knesset's Economic Affairs Committee.

M

isezhnikov favors placing the casino in Eilat, Arad, Yeruham or the Dead Sea area.

"The Tourism Ministry, and I as tourism minister, support the establishment of a casino in southern Israel, which will serve not only tourists but also Israel's residents," the minister told the Knesset's Economic Affairs Committee last week, as he presented his ministry's activities in the past year and its future plans.

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During the discussion and the minister's presentation, which focused on solutions for the Dead Sea, Tamar Regional Council head Dov Litvinoff suggested building a casino in the Dead Sea area to fund the regional development. The discussion quickly shifted to the question of whether Israel should have a casino.

The tourism minister noted that his ministry was in favor of building a casino in Eilat, Arad, Yeruham or the Dead Sea area. Knesset Member Carmel Shama-Hacohen (Likud), chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee, warned that a casino could lead to negative phenomenon like gambling addiction and that Israel's access to the casino would have to be limited.

Misezhnikov responded that studies conducted in the past have all been in favor of building a casino in Israel. "We can't set up a casino for tourists only and separate between the tourists and the locals," the minister said. "If the Israeli can't enter, they'll continue traveling abroad to gamble, and the State will lose millions of shekels in income."

And yet, Misezhnikov did not say how he plans to promote the casino's establishment – an issue which has been discussed in the past 20 years by every single tourism minister and different finance ministers.

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