Casino Proposal Sparks Controversy in French Polynesia

1 August 2008

Joinville Pomare, a self-proclaimed member of the former royal family of French Polynesia, has proposed setting up a casino run by the indigenous people as a way to make up for past injustices perpetrated on the native people.

Mr. Pomare suggests reinvesting the profits from casinos in French Polynesia, creating a source of income for the development of the French overseas community, according to the Tahiti Presse.

Mr. Pomare's proposal has renewed a debate first sparked in February by a member of the Tatou Aia coalition, the dominant party in the French Polynesian government.

Both proposals, Mr. Pomare's and the coalition member's, have met with opposition from area religious groups.