According to critics, PNG lacks adequate governance and welfare systems to deal with the problems that a casino may bring. Plans for Papua New Guinea’s first full-fledged casino in Port Moresby have sparked criticism from transparency advocates and experts who fear it will exacerbate social problems across the country due to inadequate gambling regulation, corruption, and crime rates, among other issues. Paga Hill Development Corporation and the National Gaming Control Board signed the agreement on May 28. (NGCB). Transparency International immediately condemned the news, fearing that it would worsen unemployment and poverty while also fueling illegal activity such as fraud schemes, which are common in casinos throughout Asia where there is no strong legislation against them.
“They are the referee responsible for applying the rules of the game; they should not be running around as a player on the field,” says Transparency International PNG board chair Peter Aitsi, referring to how government officials should not try to cheat by using their position in high-ranking positions.
Paga Hill’s chief operating officer, George Hallit, defended the company’s plans for a casino in PNG. He claimed that it would generate thousands of jobs and draw tourists to the country. “Economic studies show that casinos have no negative impact on crime rates,” he adds.
As China’s middle class expands, it will account for one-quarter of all international tourism by 2030. When visiting other countries, eighty percent of Chinese first-time tourists visit casinos, and ninety percent visit Las Vegas in the United States. According to the executive director of an independent think tank, Papua New Guinea would be unable to handle any gambling problems because it lacks adequate welfare and legal infrastructure at this time.
I’m sure everyone has heard the expression “a fool and his money are soon parted.” That is especially true for those who are new to gambling. Slot machines in PNG have already had a significant impact on society, leaving people in debt and broke while destroying families and jobs in a variety of industries. Casinos take it a step further by luring you in with lights, sounds, and drinks – everything your heart desires that can leave you even further in debt than you were before!
The introduction of slot machines in Papua New Guinea has had significant social consequences, with many people becoming addicted after believing their chances of winning were high but instead finding themselves deep in debt with no way of repaying their debts or feeding their families because casinos will often give them free money.
Australia has some of the strictest gambling regulations and capacity in the world, but it also has one of the highest rates of addictive gamblers. Even with strong education and social welfare systems in place, Australia is still grappling with a burgeoning addiction rate that can not only drastically alter an individual’s life but also have far-reaching consequences for society as a whole.
Papua New Guineans are already dealing with a serious problem. The National Gaming Commission is also looking to invest in gaming ventures, including the proposed casino, which will cause them and their families even more problems.
“This is completely inappropriate” he said.
He also noted that casinos are frequently used for money laundering and argued that, given widespread allegations of poor governance and corruption in Papua New Guinea, “no way can the country afford to take on this extra burden of allowing casino activities.”
According to the Papua New Guinea Catholic Church, the country’s elites are wasting money on entertainment rather than investing in their own people. The Papua New Guinea Catholic Bishops Conference priest, Father Giorgio Licini, was quoted as saying, “It breaks our hearts to see what is being spent.” He believes that this money and energy should be invested in better facilities for young children who live far from townships or villages where there may not even be a soccer field due to a lack of funding by government officials.
The National Games Council Board (NGCB) did not respond to the Guardian’s request for comment. Chairman Clemence Kanau, on the other hand, stated in an earlier statement that the regulator had been “at the forefront” of ensuring compliance with regulations and requirements, and that it was also planning to introduce lottery, bingo, online betting, and other gaming activities in order to increase revenue while also attracting economic activity by providing job opportunities.
Given all of the new developments in technology, such as smartphones becoming much cheaper nowadays, this move is more than welcome.
With this change, fewer youths will be out of doors when they should be socialising or engaging in healthy entertainment, rather than being tempted into delinquency due to a lack of constructive venues available to them.