For about a year now, considerations have been made and discussions taken place over a casino possibly being constructed in Eilat. Today, the Tourism Minister Yariv Levin will be meeting with officials of the government to look at possible options for a casino creation. The goal is to create a plan and present it to the government later on in 2016.
A committee was created to review casino establishment, according to the Times of Israel, and the members of the committee are set to attend the meeting. This will include the Mayor of Eilat Meir Yitzhak Halevi, the Prime Minister’s Office director as well as the director of the Finance Ministry, among other officials.
The committee’s purpose is to create a memorandum for a measure within a three month time frame that will create a hotel-casino area to be located in Eilat. Currently, casinos are deemed illegal in Israel and the only Mifal HaPayis can offer sports betting options in the country.
Levin spoke with Army Radio, stating that the casino is an essential part of the process. Eilat does not have the means to compete with the world of tourism without new hotels and the casino is a means to make this happen. According to the Tourism Minister, there have been no new hotels in the area in a ten year time frame.
In the memorandum, the committee would name where the casino would be located as well as conditions put in place for licensing and limitations on citizens of Israel for entry to the casino. Betting limits are also being considered, including the number of visits to the casino a person will be allowed to make plus time spent at the venue during each visit.
A report by the Tourism Ministry found that two to four casinos would be viable economically in the region with each offering a conference center as well as hotel. With the additions, Eilat would have 4,000 guest rooms in total at local hotels. Also included in the report findings was a tourism increase of 15% along with gamblers spending an average of $160 and 11,000 jobs being created due to construction and positions within the casinos and hotels.