From illegal gambling to legal gaming: Casinos in Israel

Aviad A. Israeli, Abraham Mehrez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Gambling is a significant tourist attraction and provides a significant source for development to the region and the state, as well as an income to organizations in the tourism industry. Casino gaming is often considered a catalyst for the development of a tourism industry, providing new revenues, employment, and visitors. Many states debate whether gaming can or should become a part of their tourism industry. In this context, Israel is an interesting case. Although it has characteristics of a western culture in which the private enterprise gaming industry has gained increasing popularity, Israel was established as a Jewish state in which there is no division between state and religion. The purpose of this paper is to present a case for legalized gaming in Israel by focusing on the difficulties of the current situation, in which casino gaming is illegal. The paper also provides information on tangible benefits that might be expected from a legal gaming industry based on the private enterprise system. A hypothesized reality is investigated in which gaming is legal in Israel and a single casino is operating in the southern city of Eilat. The findings suggest that such a venture would generate economic benefits if policy makers provide a supporting legal setting in which illegal gambling is eradicated. The paper demonstrates how to initiate a cost benefit analysis of the issue in an effort to consider legal gaming in Israel. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-291
Number of pages11
JournalTourism Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Casinos
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Gambling
  • Legalized gambling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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