The issue of casino gambling should be of great national concern. Not only does it have considerable relevance for the crucial issues of tax generation and controlling money laundering, but also because of its potential impact on the tourism sector.
Gambling is hidden in the shadow world of private members’ clubs and therefore is largely inaccessible to visitors. Being remote in this way it also makes it more difficult to regulate.
There will always be questions about the morality of the industry and there are a host of horrendous stories about gambling addicts, who have lost everything they own, but the national lotteries are already legal and in operation, so morality should cease to be an issue.
The only real concern is, therefore, how to manage it properly to the advantage of the country and people.
The real benefit of casinos is their ability to significantly enhance the investment potential of resorts and hotels. The licence changes the investment paradigm for a developer from marginal to something much more attractive. Government can also use a casino licence to leverage the size and quality of the resort to their advantage.
The legitimate tax revenue to be derived from gambling can be considerable, but the impact legalised casinos would have on the development of tourism in the form of new luxury hotels and resorts and increased tourism would be much more significant. As the visitors’ flow into the country increases, so will the tax revenues from casinos and indeed a wider tourism industry.