Indonesia: Casino To Be Built But Muslim Not Allowed To Go

Posted: 18 Nov 2007 10:52 PM CST

How much sense does this make? How will the Zakat be distributed from the profits?

Politicians want to build Indonesia’s first casino on an island near wealthy Singapore – a potentially lucrative but highly sensitive venture in mostly Muslim Indonesia.

Gambling is prohibited in Islam. Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country, with nearly 90 per cent of its 235 million people being followers of the Islamic faith.

Other plans to build casinos in Indonesia have faltered due to vocal opposition from Islamic activists.

It remains to be seen whether Bintan island’s local government will be able to push the plan through.

“We are aware of the controversy,” Bintan district’s deputy chief Mastur Taher said.

He estimated the casino could raise the island’s annual income tenfold to $US132 million ($A147.51 million).

He said only foreign tourists and non-Muslims would be allowed into the casino, which is envisaged to be part of a 2,000 hectare tourist development.

Bintan is already popular with tourists, most of whom make the hour-long ferry ride from Singapore.


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