Taking a gamble

November 8, 2015 by Michael Kuttner
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In recent weeks there has been a minor media frenzy surrounding Australian media and business mogul James Packer who has purchased a home in Israel and spends quite a bit of time there.

Michael Kuttner reports from Israel:

James Packer

James Packer

Speculation as to the motives for this sudden love affair with the Jewish State abound. They range from a desire to enjoy our balmy weather, to the vibrant night life in Tel Aviv and perhaps a genuine infatuation with the dynamic business and social scene.

It seems that James Packer has struck up a close friendship with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and it this aspect combined with a connection to Sheldon Adelson which has resulted in media speculation as to future plans. These of course revolve around the establishment of a casino in Eilat which would seem a logical conclusion to reach.

Whether the infatuation with us is based on nothing more than genuine respect and mutual admiration or is a trial balloon for future business ventures the fact remains that this Australian has generated immense interest in certain quarters.

For those hallucinating at the prospect of a casino in the Holy Land, a dose of reality would be in order. At present casinos are not legal here. Vested interests have floated the prospect of changing the law to allow casino gambling but so far this has not been successful. The prospects of a change in the immediate future are rather dim mainly because of the implacable opposition of religious parties and others who fear the negative influence on family life and finances and the prospect of crime syndicates infiltrating this venture.

Taking all these factors into consideration it will be interesting to see whether Packer’s new found love of Israel is based on more than potential lucrative start-ups. It’s a gamble which could turn out to be a winner or a fizzer.

Click on this link for an explanation of the current situation. There is no doubt that another push is under way to legalise casinos which of course has fueled the current rumours. It’s anybody’s guess as to which way the dice will fall. Meantime the Prime Minister’s Office is refusing all comments and is keeping its cards very close to its chest.

http://www.barlaw.co.il/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/GamblingCompliance-Israel-Opens-New-Casino-Inquiry-With-Netanyahu-Backing-2015-09-28.pdf

Comments

One Response to “Taking a gamble”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    A casino, just what Israel needs……

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