13 Feb 2013

Samoa casinos spark problem gambling warnings

10:11 am on 13 February 2013

A Pacific service for New Zealand's Problem Gambling Foundation is urging Samoa to start a similar service after two casino licences were issued.

The licences have been awarded to Aggie Greys Beach Resort and Exhibition Tourism Group from China.

The manager of Mapu Maia, Pesio Ah-Hone Siitia, warns of more problem gamblers in Samoan communities, whether they be tourists or locals holding foreign passports.

She says the impact gambling addicts can have on those around them is devastating.

"We've seen people losing everything, people losing their homes, their relationships and we've seen people actually losing their businesses, and for a nation or for a community like Samoa, who is a developing nation, and who are solely reliant on low wages and also remittances from overseas, we can definitely see that the impact of problem gambling will be very high."

Mapu Maia manager, Pesio Ah-Hone Siitia.