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Proponents trying again to stir interest in casino gaming

Date Posted: 2009-12-31

The idea of having casino gaming on Okinawa has been kicked around throughout past couple of decades, with as many people opposed to having the gambling operations as there are supporters.

Okinawa Prefecture’s Small and Medium Enterprises Friendship Association is trying once more to stir interest, and commissioned a survey to see what people are thinking in 2009. ‘I agree’ has the attention of 39% of the survey respondents, while 30% are opposed to having casinos on Okinawa. The balance of those surveyed, about one-third, say they’re not sure or have no opinion.

Supporters say “It will bring a lot of tourists from overseas, and nighttime spending money will be stimulated by the casino gaming.” They insist that Okinawa’s basic tourism industry cannot increase if new things aren’t found for visitors to do. “Just sky and blue ocean are not enough any more,” states one. “What about night spots; there aren’t enough places for tourists to go spending. If casinos are here, many people will spend money, as a lot of rich people come from the mainland and from overseas.”

Opponents say casino gambling is bad for the community, as “it is no good for education and lifestyles become bad. Gambling is never good for human beings and life, and even Okinawa’s natural climate can be destroyed.”

The Okinawa Prefecture Visit Okinawa survey, which asked the best things about visiting Okinawa, showed healthful rest first, cultural experiences second, and marine leisure third. The other popular point of Okinawa, the survey showed, was that overseas visitors from South-East Asia come here to use the wedding resorts.

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