|Casinos Austria, the owner of the Casino Cancun floating casino in the Israeli resort Eilat, is threatening to move the boat across the border to the neighboring Jordanian port of Aqaba if it is not allowed to operate the casino from Eilat. |
Casinos Austria has decided to send 150 of the floating casino's employees on unpaid leave, with only an essential maintenance crew remaining, in the wake of a recent directive issued by Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein to government offices banning the casino operating from Eilat.
Casinos Austria spokesperson Moti Finkelstein said that if the floating casino was moved to Aqaba, Casinos Austria would bear the punters' border-crossing costs of NIS 200 per head.
Casino Cancun, which had planned to operate in international waters, has remained idle since docking in Eilat five months ago because the Transportation Ministry, citing security and safety issues, has so far refused to authorize Casinos Austria's request to operate a speed boat shuttle to and from the casino.
The Counter-terrorism Headquarters at the Prime Minister's Office has also voiced objection to permits being granted for the shuttle service.
Finkelstein said that prior to sending the casino's staff on unpaid leave, operating costs for the casino were $500,000 a month. Furthermore, he said, the pier built for the planned shuttle service had cost Casinos Austria $1 million.