Are Casinos Good or Bad to Sri Lanka? (part 2)
Posted on October 26th, 2013
There is a lot of new oil money in the African continent. No wonder South Africa has 45 casinos and over 37,000 slots. Those numbers has made South Africa the biggest casino operator in the African continent. What I wanted to emphasize is, SA has been attracting all the high heeled gamblers of neighbouring countries and siphoning most of their corrupt money.
Today, all most all countries in Africa wanted to follow that lead by SA. And over 40 African countries had legalized casinos to date. Every one of those countries compete with each other to grab each other’s corrupt money. But they have not agreed to put a stop to corruption. Every country started to look up to casinos as a way to find easy money. Otherwise why would the Zambian Prime Minister called for casinos to be opened in all towns and cities in his country while opening a casino in Lusaka in 2012. 20 years back Zambia had only four casinos. Now it has 22 and 3 more are scheduled to be opened in 2014. Question is, has casinos help lift populace out of poverty? NO, Except for one or two African countries all others remain dirt poor and the populace continue to linger in AID infested abject poverty.
As for the North African countries, gaming is allowed only in some and that also in restricted settings. Locals are not allowed to gamble in these venues which are usually located in tourist hotels. Before the regime changed in 2012 however, Egypt boasted the biggest casino operation in Africa after SA. But After the ‘Arab Spring’ Morsi government wanted to shut most of them down. In fact, Tunisia too had to close down its casinos.
There is a saying that if a pair of Chinese see two flies landed on a wall, they would bet which one would and climb pass a certain point. To say it all in short, Chinese are born gamblers. They love baccarat. So, one could argue that the influx of Chinese to African continent of late may have accelerated the casino gambling in that continent.
Of the 193 member countries of the UN, there operate casinos legally in more than 127 countries. There are no legal casinos in Japan up to now. Nor does Brazil, Turkey, Norway or Thailand support the casino business. In mainland China too, casinos are illegal. Although there are no legal casinos in Thailand, Thai citizens currently travel in considerable numbers to casinos located along the Thai border with Cambodia. We have to agree then casino gambling today has become a thing that many humans cannot do without.
It’s no surprise then, Japan is planning to join the now universal casino business in a big way. After a long debate, a multi-party group of lawmakers have agreed to submit a bill to the current session of parliament to lift the ban on casinos in Japan. Pundits believe casino operators have targeted the 2020 Olympic and have achieved the said success after lobbying for more than a decade.
Macaw’s Melco crown entertainment boss, Lawrence Ho says, the market in Japan could easily be in excess of $10 billion to $15 billion or even more. Potentially it would be the second-largest in the world. No wonder, Ho is about to invest 5 billion on a casino resort in Japan. James Packer, the Australian casino mogul who plan to invest a measly $400 million in Sri Lanka prefers to join Lawrence to develop resorts in Tokyo and Osaka in a big way.
However, it must be mentioned that Japanese lawmakers who favour casinos has outlined broad standards for licensing and regulating casino operators and their partners. According to them, Japan would establish an independent gaming regulator of Las Vegas and Singapore model at the outset. Lawmakers aim is to control issuance of annual licenses and the policing of gaming operations. They wanted to set the hurdles to enter the casino business high and keep out the “yakuza” the organized crime syndicate.
In all developed countries, there are Gaming Control Boards that are responsible for promulgating rules and regulations that dictate how gaming activities are to be conducted within that country. These rules and regulations, passed by the legislature, provide detailed requirements that must be satisfied by a gaming establishment, its owners, employees, and vendors. Such rules and regulations even cover licensing, accounting systems, rules of casino games, and auditing. Licencing applicant must demonstrate that they possess good character, honesty and integrity. An applicant is typically required to provide details of his personal information. He is also required to disclose details regarding previous business relationships, employment history, criminal records, and financial stability.
Are we ready to appoint such a Gaming Control Board? (to be continued….)