2 Jul 2007

American Samoa Governor against any move to set up casinos in the territory

10:11 am on 2 July 2007

American Samoa Governor Togiola Tulafono says he does not support setting up casinos in the territory because it is against both local and federal laws.

The governor was asked to look at casino operations as another way of providing revenues for the government as well as new jobs, because of the uncertainty now faced with the canneries due to the new minimum wage hikes.

However, the governor said operating casinos on island is against the law.

He says even poker games are banned and the High Court has ruled more than once on such cases.

Togiola says he is not about to push for an idea that will conflict with both local and federal laws, which apply to American Samoa.

He said the only form of gambling allowed under current statute is bingo and raffles, operated by non-profit groups.

The law says all gambling activity is criminal except for the "occasional" bingo or the selling of chances for the raffling of an item of value but only for religious, educational, or charitable purposes.