Jamaica not interested in becoming casino destination

Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism of Jamaica. Credits: Cruise Industry News

The Minister of Tourism said that a regulated market will be up and running by 2020 but will not become a destination.

Jamaica.- Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism of Jamaica, said that the first regulated casino will be operational by the start of 2020, but that the territory will not become a casino destination.

The official discussed the current and future situation of casinos in the country at a seminar on Hospitality Industry and Casino Operator’s Guide to Managing US Liability Issues from the Caribbean, at Sandals Montego Bay.

“We have shied away from gaming as a structured path of the tourism experience for a long time for a number of reasons, one of which has been the experiences that we have looked at in other places and we have seen some of the attendant negatives and we question very much whether or not we would be able ourselves to manage and be able to deal with the negative impact of it,” said Bartlett.

While he agreed that adding more casinos would be beneficial for the local economy, he said that Jamaica doesn’t necessarily need them in order to keep growing. “The fact is that casino for Jamaica is not a requirement for our growth but within the context of the integrated development model, casino gaming is a driver for exponential growth so we do not see Jamaica ever becoming a casino destination but rather a destination in which casino gaming is available,“ he added.

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