US-Israeli consortium plans $50-70m Eilat casino

Isle of Capri Casinos, Shmuel Flatto-Sharon, and others want to set up a casino.

Israeli businessmen Shmuel Flatto-Sharon, Alexander Tessler (owner of the Princess hotel in Eilat) and US jeweler Shaul Houri, and the representative of Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. (Nasdaq:ISLE), will prepare a plan to set up Israel’s first legal casino, probably in Eilat. The investment is estimated at $50-70 million.

Isle of Capri Casinos was founded and is controlled by chairman and CEO Bernard Goldstein, an American-Jewish businessman. The company is one of the largest in the gaming industry, with 13 casinos in the US, UK, and Bahamas, as well as restaurants and events halls. The company had a turnover of $1.3 billion in 2004.

The developers believe that if the Knesset passes a law to allow gambling in Israel, a casino could be built in Eilat. Flatto-Sharon said today, “150 illegal casinos operate in Israel, some of them online. A legal casino will eliminate most of them. A large part of revenue will flow to the state’s budget, through taxes. Las Vegas has proved in recent years that casinos can be a legal, clean, and kosher business.”

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on December 1, 2005

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