7 Dec 2010

Niue premier wants casino on Niue

4:01 pm on 7 December 2010

Niue's cabinet has given its tacit approval to building a casino on the island as part of plans to boost tourism.

The Premier, Toke Talagi, says he mooted the idea a year ago and he'd like to see a small facility separate from any hotel development.

Mr Talagi says plans now need to be worked on and taken back to cabinet.

"We've got to make sure we've got the legislation in place to enable us to do that and as I understand it there are provisions in our current laws to enable us to do that but we've also got to ensure that the management of the casino is properly done so we might have to include legislation to enable us to do that."

Toke Talagi is optimistic about tourism plans for the island with increased capacity on Air New Zealand's weekly flight, the refurbished Matavai Resort to be ready by next season and a 1.5 million US dollar Chinese-backed hotel expected to open in 2012.