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Govt has not considered policy guidelines on casino license issue: Fiji PM

Friday 29 December 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Fiji, Regional

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Govt has not considered policy guidelines on casino license issue: Fiji PM
Fiji's prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka. Photo: RNZ / Koroi Hawkins

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the Coalition Government had not considered or approved any policy guidelines on the issuance of casino licenses.

Rabuka made the comment at a press conference in Suva following speculation and social media commentaries regarding the proposed casino development project in the country.

He said in 2011, the Bainimarama government had issued an exclusive gaming license to One Hundred Sands Limited for 15 years, and the company had planned to build a luxury casino resort and convention centre on Denarau Island.

And in 2015, he said the FijiFirst government revoked One Hundred Sands’ license because of a breach of license conditions and citing failure of the company to complete the project and the opening of the casino on time.

“While One Hundred Sands applied for a judicial review, their application was dismissed by the High Court and thereafter by the Court of Appeal,” Mr Rabuka said.

Rabuka said in April this year, Cabinet considered the proposal to issue a Casino License to FNPF and it was agreed that a decision be deferred and considered at a later date.

“Before any further discussion on the matter, the Coalition Government will need to develop a clear and robust policy guideline on the issuance of Casino license in Fiji following comprehensive consultations with all stakeholders.

“I wish to reiterate that until such time that happens, no casino license will be issued to any entity by the People’s Coalition Government.”

An investor from Macau this week announced plans for a $2billion project, which includes a casino and a 1000-room 7-star hotel.

David Group Fiji casino project head Sandeep Singh said the company had been dedicated to the development of the entertainment, tourism and real estate sectors and was keen to branch out into Fiji.

The company then called a media conference to clarify what it said were false and misleading information on social media about the proposed casino project.

“The first phase of the development costing $1billion includes a stand-alone casino and 1000-room luxury integrated 7-star hotel with restaurants, conference rooms, a business centre, shopping mall, marina and the infrastructure required to connect this multifaceted development,” Singh said.

“The second phase costing another $1 billion would include an amusement park Disney-style, indoor rugby stadium and entertainment complex and luxury sub division.”

  • Fiji Times