Nevertheless the Social Democratic faction has insisted that, as a safeguard, entrance to the casino should be restricted to foreign passport holders and only one casino should be permitted at this point in time.

The Green Party insisted that it should be on the ‘Sea of Tranquility’ as a maritime casino would not involve the destruction of natural vegetation: as would a land based construction. This suggestion is being considered.

A leading figure in the small and ever decreasing group of free-market liberals, raised the question of whether there was much point in any company opening a casino where there were no customers, and as such, likely to be no profit.

The Minister for Inter-Planetary Affairs said that “the question only served to emphasize the moribund thinking of the free-market group who measured every business by its profitability”. He went on to say that “already a quasi-state gaming organization in Europe had stated a keen interest in opening the first Moon Spielbank”.

The move to encourage casinos is seen as a further attempt by the World Coalition Government to improve tourism in the area. To date all previous initiatives have had disappointing results. This is thought to be for a variety of reasons: principally the lack of transport, and accommodation and a mystifying absence of oxygen. Factors which tourism experts say play an important part in the marketing mix.

It was thought that water-ice, found on the moon way back in 1998 would provide the breakthrough by providing a means to create oxygen. Instead the possibility of Lunar colonisation produced hot air in Parliaments throughout the world.

A spokesman for the Tourist Board commenting on the continuing difficulties said “the problems though formidable were not insurmountable”. He went on to say that “there are always professional sceptics, who rejoice in denigrating grand projects”. He cited as examples Kabul-Disney and the Millenium Dome in London, who he said “have had their critics but are becoming more and more confident that they will eventually pay of their debt”. Adding that “if they could be successful, why not a casino on the moon?”

Nevertheless some technical details still have to be resolved. There remains the vexing question of mobility. Because the environment on the moon is akin to a vacuum, everything is done at a snails pace. Two candidates are therefore being tipped as ideal to take over the important task of seeing that the Government legislation is implemented; Dick Small the New-Labour Minister now in charge of the selection process for the second resort casino in U.K. and Bygg Persson the Stockholm politician entrusted with liberalizing casino gambling in Europe. Insiders in the industry say that even these extra duties if taken on by the Bygg/Dick combination are unlikely to alter the pace of the changes being made in their respective portfolios.

An important factor in the decision to permit casinos on the moon is the tax that can be levied on this section of the gambling industry. A rate of 90% on gross revenue is now the norm. A leaked document indicates that there have been some differences in opinion within the government working group. Some socialists say the tax should be paid in lieu of earnings others feel it should come after earnings have been declared. It seems one American member, risking censure from the P.C. Party who dominate the Senate in her own country, even suggested that the tax should not be too high. She felt that it might act as a disincentive on the operator; who might seek to reduce costs instead of maximizing income. This would result in lower net tax revenue to the Treasury. This piece of misplaced nostalgia for a discredited theory, not surprisingly, won her few friends. The Chair of the Group felt obliged to remind members that the objective of Gaming Tax was not primarily to increase Government earnings, but to impoverish Gaming Companies.

The announcement by the Ministry for I-P Affairs precedes the Leader’s summit in June when the President of Greater-Europe, who that month will be the Latvian President, meets the President of The U.S.A. who that month will be a Korean/American. They are likely to press the other revolving leaders of the Eastern and Pacific Rim to endorse the new legislation.

What are the full implications of this new policy?

The following is an extract of an interview by an Internet publication called the ‘Voice of the Gaming Industry’, where questions were put to Mr. C. Nile the President of the World Gaming Commission on the proposed move to legalize gambling on the moon.

Journalist: “ What are the reasons for legalizing casinos on the moon?”

C.Nile: “To prevent the spread of illegal gambling there”.

Journalist: “But isn’t it true to say there are no people there?”

C.Nile: “Well, It may be true that demand is not overwhelming at this point in

time, but it’s amazing how people suddenly appear from nowhere when gambling is made available. The Gaming commissions all over the world have found this”.

Journalist: “But they have never found any sign of intelligent life-forms there?”

C.Nile : “Oh I wouldn’t generalize like that. I’m sure there are some able people to be found in the Gaming Commissions”.

Journalist: “What we’re saying is, that it’s a scientific fact that the moon has no atmosphere and therefore there is no life there”.

C.Nile: “You know, marketing people can create the right kind of atmosphere,

anywhere. Always providing of course it does not contravene the regulations set in place to prevent the over-stimulation of gambling”.

Journalist: “Well, I think we will leave that question for the moment? Maybe the initial customer base will be the astronauts, space-lab workers and scientists who live at the specially built moon modules? Or perhaps gambling groups could be organized. It is after all an exotic venue. We’re sure many rich people would jump at the chance to go, if suitable accommodation could be arranged”.

C.Nile: “We must not get too carried away. We must keep our feet firmly on the ground. In the first place I do not think we could permit State employees, as most of them are, to frequent casinos. As for the gambling groups this comes dangerously close to inducement to gamble”.

Journalist: “Do you really think under the circumstances this can be a success?”

C.Nile “No question of it. It’s already an enormous success. We have created jobs for a great number of elderly politicians, and civil servants. The New Gaming Commission and Inspectorate will create many more positions and keep bureaucrats and lawyers in work for many years. I myself have been promoted at a time when I was expected to retire”.

Journalist. “I think we must leave it there. Thank you Mr President. We are sure that your name will always be synonymous with this policy. May we also suggest that in view of your knowledge and level of intelligence, it may well be in the interest of everyone here on earth, that they send YOU personally to the moon”.

C.Nile. “Thank you very much”.

Jim Wrethman is Chairman of

Solna Leisure AB. a mangement and consulting