Apparently, there were “secret” plans, headed by the Bakhit government, to build a Casino at the Dead Sea; a project that was supposedly funded in the millions by an unnamed “British Kurd” investor (don’t ask me why his nationality is important, you know how the Jordanian media is). Upon discovering these plans, it also seems the Dahabi government has put an end to it.
Few people know that once upon a time there was actually a casino in the Dead Sea, but then, as far as what I’ve been told, it went bankrupt.
It would be interesting to see if this project would’ve been approved by Parliament, given the feeling that Jordanians are typically more conservative today than they were in the 1960’s. It is doubtful, and I’m sure the Islamists wouldn’t be alone in the protest.
That being said. I’m not sure if casinos should be “banned” given the somewhat-liberal status quo of tourist, or western-oriented sites already available on Jordanian soil. We have clubs, bars, more clubs and yes, even more bars. So once you’ve broken that dam, I’m not sure there’s that much more to complain about when it comes to casinos; at least on a religious and/or conservative context.
I spoke to a big Iraqi investor recently and he made a point of mentioning how our tourism sector would be much better off if we had a casino in the country, as naturally, it is one of the biggest facilitators of tourism revenue, based on the global experience. He also made a point of mentioning the Iraqi experience of where the casino they have (or had perhaps) would only allow foreigners in, having a system of checking IDs to make sure that no “average” Iraqi got in. The richer ones were allowed to play under the assumption that they have the money to leave the country and gamble anyways, so there wouldn’t be a point behind barring them.
Anyways, the subject is strangely controversial for all the obvious reasons.