Tonga approves first casino license


'Akilisi Pohiva confirmed that Tonga won’t grant a casino license after all.

The Polynesian country Tonga has approved a license to establish and operate a casino.

Tonga.- After the Government of Tonga announced in January that it rejected the request for casino gaming because the activity is illegal in the country, it has seemingly approved a request from Tavake Tamafua Ltd.

According to Radio New Zealand, the directors of the company confirmed that they were about to achieve the requirements needed to move on with the petition, and that they obtained a letter from Tevita Lavemaau, a government minister, that established that the government is backing the proposal to open a casino in the country. Furthermore, they would also obtain the exclusive rights to begin the construction process in the next couple of years, which is set to cost approximately US$450 million. As gambling is currently prihibited in Tonga, Tavake Tamafua’s Havea Gatti said that they need to change the regulations before a license gets granted.

Back in January, the Prime Minister’s Office stated that gambling is prohibited by law: “Therefore any intention from Red Warrior Entertainment or any Casino Company to apply for a gaming license would be futile.” Treasurer of the Free Wesleyan Church (FWC), Rev. Tevita Haukinima, said: “We at the FWC don’t believe in casinos and dealing cards. This is what the church believes and what Christians believe as well as our pastors and people of the church.”