Today’s Editorial: Casinos

POSTED: 05/4/11 1:54 PM

That the adjusted casino policy opens the door for, by our count, two additional stand-alone casinos on our island does not make a lot of sense.

Currently St. Maarten is home to twelve casinos, of which four are located in or affiliated with hotels, while the remaining eight are of the stand-alone variety.

Casinos may be an integral part of the tourism economy but the question is of course how many of these establishments St. Maarten needs to offer visitors and locals alike enough gambling and gaming entertainment.

The government is aware of the fact that criminal activities and casinos go hand in hand, but the policy offers nothing to soften the impact this may have on the island.

The report by the Scientific Research and Documentation center WODC of 2007 seems all but forgotten. That report indicated that there are not enough customers to make all the casinos viable enterprises, that there is no control over the money that flows through the casinos and that the identity of the ultimate beneficiary owners is obscure.

The policy addresses none of these issues in specific terms, and that is reason for concern, if not for some pertinent questions in parliament.


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