Samoa may reopen casino process after China bid falters
Aug 19 (Reuters) - The tiny South Pacific nation of Samoa could reopen the bidding for a casino licence, a move likely to upset religious leaders, after halting talks with a Chinese tourism group that is facing allegations of corruption.
China's Exhibitions Tourism Group (ETG) had planned to build a 500-room hotel and casino in the cash-strapped country of 190,000, which is heavily reliant on foreign aid and money sent home from citizens working overseas.
The plan hit a snag when ETG's chairman, Deng Hong, came under investigation for corruption by Chinese Communist Party officials over land deals in mainland China, according to Chinese and Samoan media reports.
The Samoan government withdrew the licence earlier this month.
"We need to make a decision about whether we go back to market for the licence or whether we just continue on with one license given to a local firm," Samoa Gambling Control Authority chief executive Robbie Kearney told Reuters.
"We may want to go back to market straight away."
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