6 Jul 2012

Samoa churches warn against planned casinos

12:10 pm on 6 July 2012

Samoa's National Council of Churches has warned the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, about the planned casinos, saying the move will drive Samoa into further poverty.

Its chair, the Reverend Kasiano Le'aupepe, has told the Samoa Observer he is fearful about the future of Samoa once the casinos proposed by the government are established and running.

He says the love of money and the casino will only drive people further into poverty.

He predicts that people will save money to play in the casinos instead of feeding their families, leading to addiction and crime.

The Reverend Le'aupepe, a deacon of the Catholic church, says he fears the perils of gambling will shake Samoa's Christian foundation.

Last year, the prime minister said only overseas visitors would be allowed into the casinos.