12 Feb 2013

Two casino licenses awarded in Samoa by Gambling Control Authority

8:07 am on 12 February 2013

Two casino licenses up for grabs in Samoa have been awarded to Aggie Greys Beach Resort and Exhibition Tourism Group from China.

Aggie Greys is expected to start its casino within six months while the group from China hopes to launch its casino business in the next two to three years.

The chairman of the Gambling Control Authority, Fanene Samau Etuale, told reporters seven companies submitted bids for a casino license.

Fanene says one reason for awarding a casino license to Aggie's is its successful history as a hotel operator since 1937.

He adds the second company issued a casino licensed was done so because it is known for its round the world tours for big groups.

The company is looking at leasing over 200 hectares of land in Samoa to build a 500-room hotel for its gaming operation.

Under law, casinos may only be run from hotels and only foreign passport holders are allowed to play.

Samoa's National Council of Churches is opposing the casinos and has predicted the crime rate will increase.