Samoa beach cabin Go to Samoa? If you can wait until autumn, you may be one of the first patterns in one of the two new Samoa casinos, one a beach resort, the other a two storey game house with 12 live tables and up to 85 slot machines. The licenses were recently awarded to two companies: one for the Australian-run luxury 500-room hotel, known as Aggie Gray's, the other for a Chinese company, ETG, for the casino-only facility.
Worries for Locals
Although the casinos are undoubtedly a financial beacon for the islands, local church leaders are concerned about how they can influence the local subclass of relatively poor residents. "Our concern is that the social life of the people [of Samoa] will be spoiled," said Maauga Motu, Secretary General of the National Council of the Samoa Church, in a recent Australia-Australia interview. "That's always the end result of playing games like this in the casino, they'll always lose," said Motu.
Apparently to address this concern (and in what may seem a strange step to people familiar with Las Vegas, where residents and even employees are generally welcomed and encouraged to play), says Robbie Kearney, chief executive of Samoa's Gambling Control Authority, whereas while the new homes create jobs for locals, they are not allowed in the casinos as players. Kearney says that customers are not allowed without a strange passport or staying in a recognized hotel or resort on the island. "The casino owner will allow [their] danger, because if we catch them, we will impose sanctions," Kearney warned.
Jobs for Samozen
While forbidden to play in the new homes, Kearney said that locals get priority for work in the new casinos. "Once we reach the boundaries of what we can deliver from the local Sami people, the conversation is about whether they can get a visa to enable and work for people," he said about potential employment, the new gaming homes will create.
Apia, Samoa, where the new casinos are being built, is the largest city and capital of the island. The estimated local population, based on the 2017 count, amounts to 37 700, and besides tourism, the economy is running around the export of local fish and copra, the dried coconut meat. Polynesian Airlines also has its headquarters in the capital.