In a few years, casinos could become Israel’s biggest attraction, as politicians are now considering legalizing casinos in the Jewish state. According to the latest gambling news, the Negev Desert could turn into a casino paradise.
The idea came up during discussions with governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval, who managed to convince Israeli officials that gambling sites can help develop tourism.
Back in October, Sandoval met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres to talk about water conservation, high-tech industries and drone aircrafts, but brought up gambling as well.
“I think it’s an area of interest. It’s not in the tangible phase yet, but it’s something that we’re looking at”, said David Siegel, the Los Angeles-based consul general. Obviously, the first step would be to introduce new Israeli gambling laws.
No official decision has been made yet, but if politicians do legalize offline and online casinos in Israel, a first potential gambling site would be a town found in the heart of the Negev Desert, at a 2-hour drive from Tel Aviv. After the government built a luxury hotel in Mitzpe Ramon, the area is already a developing tourism site. The town is at the edge of the largest crater on earth.
Nevada representatives believe that Israel could benefit from their know-how in building cities in the desert. Even though Negev Desert accounts for 60% of Israel’s land mass, it currently holds only 8% of the state’s population. “We can benefit from your expertise. Gaming could add to our tourism”, Siegel said.
However, from a political point of view, developing the gambling industry in Israel could turn out to be quite a challenge. The Jewish state has many political parties and, when it comes to casinos and gambling, there are always serious business interests in play, never mind the conservative religious groups that continue to hold sway throughout the country.