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Odds stacked against Israeli caisno

16 January 2008

ISRAEL -- As reported by the Jerusalem Post: "Don't take out the poker chips quite yet, Knesset Interior Committee Chairman Ophir Paz-Pines warned Tourism Ministry officials on Tuesday - there won't be a legal casino in Israel anytime soon.

"Despite plans by the Eilat Municipality and the Tourism Ministry to build the country's first casino, Paz-Pines remained adamant that the Knesset would never legalize gambling.

"...Tourism officials said they were drafting a bill that would legalize gambling establishments in certain locations, specifically in Eilat.

"...Earlier this month, the Israel Lands Administration said it planned to allocate 50 dunams for a casino. The Tourism Ministry says a casino would generate NIS 650 million in tax revenues a year and would create 900 jobs. The ministry promises to use revenue from a casino to address social problems.

"...Illegal gambling in Israel is estimated at more than $3.6 billion per year..."

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