Transparency International PNG board chair Peter Aitsi stated: “They (the NGCB) are the referee responsible for applying the rules of the game. The global experience with casinos suggests an increased likelihood of money laundering and undue political influence where the regulator is weak or is compromised.”
George Hallit, Paga Hill’s chief operating officer, defended the plans, saying the casino would create thousands of jobs directly and indirectly. He also argued that the casino, which will include a hotel, shopping malls, and cinemas, would attract tourists, arguing that only one-third of visits to PNG were currently tourism-related."
Paul Barker, executive director of the independent think tank the Institute of National Affairs, said that Papua New Guinea did not have the welfare or legal infrastructure to deal with the problems that often accompany gambling.
“Australia, has some of the toughest rules and capacity to manage their gambling industry, and they also have strong education and social welfare systems. PNG certainly doesn’t have the laws, penalties, governance, education, or welfare capacity that Australia has, and it has serious law and order problems already. It certainly shouldn’t want to worsen the situation and having a major casino will certainly worsen the situation."
"PNG also has a serious problem, where the regulatory body, the NGCB, is also seeking to be an investor in gaming ventures, including the proposed casino. This is wholly improper,” Barker concluded.
He also noted that casinos are often used for money laundering and argued that given widespread allegations of poor governance and corruption in Papua New Guinea there was “no way that the country can afford to take on this extra burden of permitting casino activities.”
Clemence Kanau, General Secretary of the PNG Trade Union Congress noted in an earlier statement: "the regulator had been at the forefront to ensure compliance on regulations and requirements” adding that it was also planning to “introduce lottery, bingo, online betting, and other gaming activities to raise revenue and attract economic activities, employment, and other opportunities."