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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 19, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---The government of the Solomon Islands will closed down all commercial casino operations in the country by April, 1999.

Home Affairs Minister, the Reverend Leslie Boseto, announced the decision while explaining the government's stand on casinos in Parliament last week.

By April next year, Reverend Boseto said, no extensions or renewals will be granted to current holders of casino licenses.

He explained that the one-year close-down period will enable casino license holders to resolve any proprietary rights or legal conditions that may need settlement.

Reverend Boseto said, as of April, 1999 "there will be no commercial casinos, whether private clubs, Internet, hotels or public casinos in the Solomon Islands." The only exception, he noted, will be state lotteries and games of chance for charitable purposes.

Reverend Boseto said Parliament, during its mid-year meeting, will review the entire gaming and lotteries industry, adding that the current government's policy is to totally prohibit casinos in the Solomon Islands.

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