|The Israeli Tourism Ministry has announced a deal with the Israel Land Administration to set aside twelve acres on the north shore of the Red Sea as a site for a future casino.|
The deal sees Israel join the rush to reap the benefits of legalised casino gambling with Yitzhak Aharanovitch, Tourism Minister for Israel, indicating that the casino would only be the first of several casino and legal gambling projects for the nation.
It is estimated that illegal gambling in Israel amounts for more than $3.6 billion a year and the Minister stated that establishing casino gambling would reduce the prevalence of such activities.
'As a former law enforcement official, I can tell those who oppose the idea that a casino would downsize the extent of the illegal gambling operations in Israel as well as the related criminal activities,' said Aharanovitch.
The area around Eilat, the southernmost city in Israel, has been chosen as the site for the nation’s first casino in order to help the area’s tourism industry, which has been hit hard by casinos in neighbouring countries.
The Red Sea is a fast growing tourist destination with its beaches and desert scenery combining with a dry climate moderated by tropical sea breezes. A casino, the Ministry stated, would emphasise the area’s attractiveness alongside hotels and trading and retail centres.