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Jamaica gets into gaming with plans to develop casinos for first time

Jun 05, 2013 8:55 am

Skift Take

The prospect of opening a casino might lure some large hoteliers to Jamaica, but gaming comes with its own set of issues and obstacles that might be more burden than the financial boost is worth.

— Samantha Shankman

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Jamaica is accepting proposals to develop casinos on the island for the first time as it looks to boost its tourism industry.

The finance ministry announced Tuesday that investors have until Sept. 30 to deliver their plans. The review period for applications is expected to last four months after that.

Under an act passed by Jamaica’s legislature last year, developers can build casinos that offer traditional table games and slot machines. Currently, Jamaica has just a few facilities in the capital of Kingston and popular tourist areas where people can play gaming machines.

Finance Minister Peter Phillips believes offering casinos under the new regulations is how Jamaica will expand its hotel sector.

Religious groups on the island have long worried that casinos will lead to more social problems.

Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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