Monday, May 5, 2008

Bintan Trying To Create Gambling To Help Tourism

A Bill is at the hands of the Bintan Legislative Council that would allow the legalization of gambling in Bintan, Riau Islands, province. The Bill has been in the Legislature since September of last year.

The Bill is aimed at creating an area that will help Bintan, which is already a tourist destination. The casino gambling would be a bonus for the area, and one that several feel is necessary.

"The objective is to develop a new destination for Indonesia," said Chief Operating Officer, Lim Boon Soon, in an interview with Kuala Lumpur. Landmarks Bhd. is trying to build the casino in response to Las Vegas Sands Corp. building one in Singapore.

The project would cost $3.1 billion, but would be Indonesia's first casino. It would be competing with the casino the Sands group is building, being only a fifty five minute ferry ride away from each other.

The new Bill has not been without its opponents, maybe causing the delay of the Legislature to approve it. It will need to move quickly if the desired casino is wanting to compete for gambling business with the Sands group.

"The special integrated tourist resort Bill, which allows electronic and non-electronic sport games, has raised a wide public controversy, and that is why we are still awaiting considerations from the central government and the public," said Timbul Sianturi, the Secretary of the Regency Legislature's special committee that is handling the development.

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