Parliamentary committee urges reopening casino on Christmas Island

A parliamentary committee has found that reopening a casino on Christmas island, a tiny Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, would boost the local economy by attracting tourists and support the island through the  slowdown of activity in its immigration detention facilities and phosphate mining.

The committee said in its interim report that the community wants a casino, and the government should set up a legal framework to allow gambling activity “without delay,” the Australian Associated Press reported.

The Christmas Island Hotel and Resort, which was popular with high rollers from Indonesia, was closed during the Asian financial crisis in 1998 and the government blocked an application to re-open the facility in 2004. The Commonwealth parliamentary committee for northern development has said the island needed to develop more sustainable industries such as tourism.