Parliament to discuss mega-casino petition

Chairwoman of the Petition Committee to prohibit the construction of a mega-casino on the outskirts of Bratislava, Eleonora Mackova, handed in the petition this week that was signed by 125,640 citizens who are against the project. The project was previously endorsed by former finance minister Jan Pociatek, who has been accused of having personal interests in the project, or of getting personal gain from it.

The petition was presented to parliamentary chairman Richard Sulik (SaS) on Tuesday of this week, who then promised the Petition Committee members that he would do all in his power to make sure the petition received attention at the plenary session of parliament. The Petition Committee expects parliament to look seriously at the arguments that forced them to start the petition in the first place, and also to open up a broader discussion on gambling in Slovakia in general.

They say the project, which is the largest of its kind in Europe, is hazardous for moral and cultural reasons, and that it gives the wrong message to young people on how to make money. The same petition was addressed also to the President, the Prime Minister, the Mayor of Bratislava and the borough mayors of Petrzalka and Jarovce.

Vice-chairman of the ruling Christian democrats (KDH), Pavol Hrusovsky, praised the committee members for collecting over 100,000 signatures that are necessary to open up a parliamentary debate.

The petition was started in December last year and has been driven primarily by religious organisations and civil associations.

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