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Election Changes Casino Chance. 2005-12-01
The talk about casinos coming to Israel, in particular the city of Eilat may just be talk. The Knesset Economics Committee, just yesterday, froze legislation regarding the legalization of casinos. Who knows if this is temporary, but for now the issue is closed.
Tourism Minister Avraham Hirchson of the political platform, Kadima (progression) a central party, claimed that halting the matter is a good idea with the issue of elections taking precedence. He didn�t quite understand why it was brought up if it was going to be opposed by the government anyway.
Hirchson does support the move, but it was inappropriate at this time. Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevy and Director General of the Hotels' unions in Eilat Shabtai Shai protested the change. Shai claimed the hotels need the casinos to up tourism in the little city.
A representative from the Finance Ministry claimed that this is a shame because a number of casinos already operate illegally there. If their will be failure to legalize casinos there will be an economic loss for the state. Money can only be made when legal organizations can be taxed. Here the money can not be taxed in these illegal casinos.
MK Shaul Yahalom of the National Religious Party claims that legalizing casinos is like legalizing prostitution. Yahalom claims that this affects morality, and invites crime. So maybe with these various options, it is a good idea the vote is frozen on the matter now.
(By Andrea)