The Prime Minister recently opened a debate upon the opening of a casino in the city of Eilat.
Indeed, it is one of the many promises made by the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during is his campaign in March 2015. However, it is not the first project brought to the table because Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate and Benjamin Netanyahu long-time backer had in the past evoked a similar project in vain because of political oppositions. Without success, it is in 2015 that the idea resurfaces.
Although casinos are not illegal in the legal area but wrong religiously speaking, not a single establishment has opened its door until today. As well as gaming aficionado Israelis have no other choice than spending time on cruising boats which offers poker nights on board or going to neighbor countries especially to Jericho in Palestine where a casino had exclusively opened to welcome them in 1990.
After a long debate with his two ministers upon this theme and if the project becomes a reality eventually, the government will have to choose between two possibilities. First, provide hotels of the city with licenses so that they can endow themselves with slot machines, game tables and other equipment related to casinos. Second, construct a new purpose-built casino entirely dedicated to gaming establishments. It will then become the first legal casino of the country and will decrease the number of various already existing clandestine casinos.
The main goal of this project is to boost tourism which has been constantly dropping and particularly increased since the Gaza conflict in 2014. The government not only targets national clients and even bets particularly on foreign tourists which have abandoned Israel as a holiday destination. Another aspect of the project: to replace Eilat's old airport with the so called casino and construct a larger airport outside of the city. The Prime Minister's really want to "connect Eilat to the country economy".
This project is fully support by the tourism minister who asserted that "to help Eilat economically and to increase the number of tourists is by means of casinos."