Samoa’s first casino opened at the start of September at Aggie Greys Mulifanua Resort in a partnership with the Indo Pacific Gaming International.
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, officially opened the long-awaited casino, the first of two venues for the White Sands Samoa Casino at Aggie Grey’s Lagoon Beach Resort, Mulifanua.
The gaming floor at White Sands Mulifanua boasts 110 slot machines and 10 tables while the second venue in Apia, will have 220 slot machines and 24 tables when it opens.
In launching the casino, Prime Minister Tuilaepa said that despite objections regarding the government’s decision to approve casino gaming, the employment opportunities and economic benefits made the choice a straight forward one. He highlighted that the government had approved a casino license for another hotel company almost 30 years ago although the casino wasn’t ever developed.
The Prime Minister said he was delighted that tourists to Samoa now had another reason to visit.
“Gambling is a personal choice. One can still gamble sensibly,” he said.
Lupesina Fred Grey, Director of the Aggie Grey’s Group, said the project heralded a ‘new level of tourism’ for Samoa.
“Soon tourists will not only be able to enjoy the natural and cultural wonders that Samoa is so famous for but also enjoy the thrill of blackjack, the spin of a roulette wheel and the adrenaline and excitement of many other games,” he said. “As such it allows Samoa to enter into a new level of tourism creating a diversity of activities for tourists that already know and love Samoa but also attracting a new type of tourist and increasing Samoa’s relative attractiveness as a tourist destination in other untapped markets.”
“We have and will continue to invest in first class facilities further enhancing our international reputation,” he added. “We have already brought in Starwood as a hotel operator to lift these two hotels and Samoa’s profile. We have also engaged IPG and Gaming Concepts to ensure that the Casino is operated to the highest standard of professionalism. In completing these first class facilities we have employed and brought to Samoa a number of skilled people from a variety of industries. But it doesn’t stop there as we with some excitement open this Casino; it is with pride that we announce that will create over 100 new jobs for our people.”
Indo Pacific was founded by William Redshaw, who started in the gaming industry in 1980 with Aristocrat International Sales and then as General Manager of European sales for Aristocrat based in the UK, moving onto VP of Sales at Aristocrat, USA until 1984.
In his over 30 years of experience in the gaming industry, Mr. Redhsaw has conducted business in every continent and developed a worldwide network of gaming distributors, gaming operations, customer contacts and friends, including governmental agencies across the globe. He started IndoPacific Gaming in 1988. Prior to this William was VP of International Sales for gaming giant International Games Technology (IGT) for four years, based in Reno, Nevada, USA.
Iain John Fairgrieve became the VP of Operations for IndoPacific Gaming International in February 2000 and was responsible for the establishment of their offices and staff internationally. He first joined IndoPacific Gaming in May 1993 to install and operate the first legal gambling operation in India. He secured several more contracts to run licensed gaming operations with a multiple large hotel groups whilst working in the continent of India, adding further experience to the company and increasing IndoPacific Gaming’s slot machine revenue share operation experience.
Prior to joining IndoPacific Gaming, he worked for the gaming giant Sun International in South Africa. In 1998 Iain consulted to Access Gaming Systems as Sales Manager for the Asia Pacific region and spearheaded the first fully regulated Internet Gaming system for Access.