9 Jul 2012

Samoa PM says decision on who will build casino imminent

7:00 pm on 9 July 2012

The Prime Minister of Samoa says the final decision on who will get a licence to run a casino in the country is being made.

The government passed legislation in 2010 which will allow two casinos to be built.

The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi says about groups from outside Samoa, who plan to also build resorts or hotels, have applied for the licence.

He says the outcome should be known soon.

"That duty is performed by our TAB board. I should think that the decision for the licence should be made in the second half of this year."

The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi

The National Council of Churches says it fears the love of money and the casino will drive residents further into poverty.

But Tuilaepa says the group has misunderstood the legislation because it states only foreigners will be allowed to gamble.