PALAU CALLS FOR GAMBLING REFERENDUM

KOROR, Palau (Radio Australia, Jan. 30) - The leader of the Pacific Island state of Palau has called for a referendum to decide whether gambling should be legalized.

Palau’s constitution currently bans the practice.

However, President Tommy Remengesau says voters should ultimately be given the chance to resolve the issue.

He was responding to the recent passage of the controversial gambling bill in the House of Delegates; the island state's lower house of parliament.

President Remengesau has rejected earlier moves to legalize gambling, saying Palau is not ready to embrace it because it could lead to prostitution, racketeering and other criminal activities.

January 30, 2003

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au

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