A bill which makes casinos legal in Samoa has been signed into law, but will not take effect immediately.
The government says more research needs to be done on the types of casinos before any are opened.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, who is also the Minister for the Totalisator Agency Board, believes the casino law will come into effect the middle of next year.
The Opposition Tautua Samoa Party and the National Council of Churches oppose casinos.
The matter is emerging as a key issue in the general elections scheduled to be held in March.