14 Mar 2017

Samoa PM rejects proposed change to gambling law

6:31 am on 14 March 2017

A bid to allow Samoans to access casinos in the country has been rejected by the country's prime minister.

Apia CBD the capital of Samoa.

Apia CBD the capital of Samoa. Photo: RNZI/Koroi Hawkins

Under the current law only foreign passport holders are allowed in casinos.

However the Samoa Observer reported there had been calls from several Members of Parliament for the government to consider changing the law to allow Samoan passport holders to enter casinos.

But prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi flatly rejected the requests saying locals should stick to bingo.

Samoa's PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Samoa's PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi Photo: RNZI Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

He said the main reason gambling was allowed and supported by former Members of Parliament when it was first discussed was because Samoan passport holders were banned.

Tuilaepa said this was done to protect Samoan families from the negative impacts of gambling.

A final decision on the matter is to be made by the parliamentary bills committee after its deliberations on MPs requests for a law change.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs