7 Apr 2010

Samoa NGOs oppose casino plans

2:11 pm on 7 April 2010

Samoa's umbrella organisation for non-government groups, SUNGO, is collecting submissions from members who are all vehemently opposing the casino bill.

The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, said the proposed casinos would raise money to help fund the development of sporting activities, especially the hosting of international sports competitions in Samoa.

SUNGO's President, Vaasilifiti Moelagi Jackson, says a casino would mark the end of Samoa's traditional way of life, break up families and increase crime.

She says there are other ways to fund sports for Samoa.

"This is all driven by the money, money, money, money, money. And we believe that money is not everything. I mean like if there is no money we can still live off the land. I mean we will miss all the luxuries but we can still survive. So therefore our family unity will be finished. So we are doing everything to try and intervene this casino."

Vaasilifiti Moelagi Jackson says if people in Samoa want to gamble at a casino, they should fly overseas to do so.