Research carried out by the Israeli Finance Ministry and the Tourism Ministry in December predicts the envisaged casino sector capable of generating annual revenue of US$336m.
It believes though that after several years of operation that figure will reach US$0.5bn.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin’s wants the government to approved a strip with four casinos, which the ministry believes will attract 2.1m visitors with an average spend per head of $160 each. The development would attract 284,000 foreign tourists to Eilat every year and would create 11,000 new jobs.
This would give Eilat’s hotels 10 per cent rise in overnight stays, to 230,000 a year. The Tourism Ministry believes that after a few years of operation, gaming revenue could reach US$0.5bn. It based this figure on 13 countries surveyed.
The tax revenue generated as a result of this would depend on how much the government decides to tax the sector.
“This income will be significantly higher than the social costs involved in making casino gambling legal in Israel and in Eilat,” it said.
The Ministry said that the addition of casinos would add to the potential of gambling addicts with it saying the number would be in the region of 300,000 but it said the negative issues could be managed. “A great deal of knowledge exists for reducing negative side effects,” it said.
It added that it would take between four and eight years after a decision had been agreed to write and pss the legislation, select the operators and for those companies to build the casinos.