23 Jun 2010

Call for reforming Solomons gambling legislation

3:13 pm on 23 June 2010

A political party in Solomon Islands is calling for reform of gambling legislation because of the social problems caused by casinos.

The Solomon Islands Democratic Party, which is led by a caretaker minister, Steve Abana, wants the Gaming and Lotteries Act changed.

Its secretary general John Keniapisia says they want casinos run from decent establishments so accessibility can be controlled, a moratorium on casino licences, and an independent body to licence casinos.

Mr Keniapisia says a huge number of working people in Honiara and rural dwellers in Guadalcanal are using the country's two casinos at the Pacific Casino Hotel.

He says as one casino is also a nightclub it is easy to access, and that's leading to a raft of social issues.

"Income earnt by husbands in most cases ended up in casino instead of feeding the family and then as a result you have family breakdown problems. People entering the casino, particularly the underage people ended up having social issues like drinking."

John Keniapisia says there is widespread concern in the community about casinos.