Catholic opinion divided on Samoa’s casinos

A  spokesperson for the Church, Father Ioane Ono, was recently reported as saying the Catholic church is not too concerned about the casinos opening on Sundays.

“Gambling is optional. It is a matter of a person’s choice,” he said.

“There is no specific teachings of the [Catholic] church with regards to gambling,” says Father Ioane. “There are other forms of gambling which members of the church use for fundraising purposes like bingo for instance.

“As far as we’re concerned, there are no teachings of the Catholic Church against gambling. There is no specific teaching that the Catholic Church is against gambling.”

Last year, senior Catholic Deacon Kasiano Le’aupepe, speaking in his role of head of the the National Council of Churches (NCC), said “The love of money and the casinos will only drive people further into poverty,” he warned. “People will start to save money to play in the casinos instead of feeding their families.

“The addiction will become too much; it will result in crime as people start stealing to fuel their addiction. Gambling opens the door to the influx of outsiders who have no fear for God.”


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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