Fiji’s government is resolute in getting plans in motion for a casino, saying there will be no referendum on the issue, despite the country’s first casino-license holder losing its exclusive rights.
The Minister for Justice Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum told Parliament the tourism industry is looking forward to a casino and draft laws are in place, according to media reports..
“Times have changed, Madame Speaker. We do not live in a time warp. We move along,” Radio New Zealand News quoted him as saying.
“The nation is maturing, the nation is growing, the tourism sector is changing and indeed Madame Speaker, the tourism nature in the world is changing,”
Sayed-Khaiyum also confirmed Fiji’s first casino licence-holder One Hundred Sands has been stripped of its 15-year exclusive gaming license after failing to get its $290 million project off the ground.
Biman Prasad, opposition party finance spokesperson, said the government needs to take investment proposals with a pinch of salt.
“It was too good to be true to begin with. It is a very important lesson for government for the future to watch out and do the due diligence before they give licences to companies which perhaps do not have the capacity or the capability to finally invest that kind of money.”