First casino in Papua New Guinea’s

Plans to develop the first casino in Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, have raised concerns about the social impact of large gambling houses.

The PNG National Gaming Control Board (NGCB) agreed last month with developer Paga Hill Development Corporation to build a $43 million casino complex.

News of the possibility of millions of Las Vegas-style gaming facilities being built immediately drew criticism from Transparency International and other gambling critics.

Transparency International PNG Board Chairman Peter Aitsi recently said, “The global experience with casinos suggests increased money laundering possibilities and unjustified political influence where regulators are weak or compromising.”

He also noted that the NGCB is “the referee responsible for applying the rules of the game” and “should not play as a player on the field.” Mr. Aitsi and other critics of the casino project have accused gambling regulators of trying to become investors in gaming ventures, which is not standard practice anywhere in the world.

George Harlett, COO of Paga Hill, defended their project, saying the casino would create thousands of new direct and indirect jobs. He also pointed out that only about one-third of all visits to Korea now are related to tourism, noting that their properties, including hotels, shopping malls, and movie theaters, will attract international tourists. 경마

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