Papua New Guinea legalises Casino and Internet Gambling

PAPUA NEW GUINEA’s parliament recently passed a gaming law allowing the operation of casinos, as well as Internet gambling in the Pacific nation.

‘The Gaming Control Bill 2007’, which was introduced by Prime Minister Michael Somare, was passed by 61-0 in what was the last session of parliament before the general election in June.

The bill could be described as somewhat controversial, as eight MPs, including Treasurer Rabbie Namaliu and Community Development Minister Carol Kidu, walked from the chamber before the vote took place.

Churches and women’s groups in Papua New Guinea are likely to lead opposition to the new law.

Somare told the House the new law contained provisions to keep out criminal exploitation and impose strict entry requirements, including hefty refundable casino entry fees, to discourage Papua New Guinean’s from gambling.
Under the new law, each of Papua New Guinea’s provinces can have one casino license for 10 years.

Casino operators will be required to pay a duty of 20% of gross profit and a community benefit gaming levy of 5% of gross profit.

It will also pave the way for a Korean consortium to build a $US35 million ($AU42.38 million) five-star hotel and casino in Port Moresby, a project that was already approved by Papua New Guinea’s cabinet.

“Somare said Papua New Guinea could earn income from taxing locally based internet gaming for overseas clients, without being affected by the social ills gambling brings to the local population”.
The new law will see the National Gaming Control Board taking control all forms of gaming activities and promote community awareness of problem gambling.

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