Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says the island‘s first regulated casino should be up and running by the start of 2020.
However, Bartlett, who was addressing a hospitality seminar in Montego Bay on Friday, said Jamaica will not be a casino destination.
Bartlett also spoke of the contribution casino gaming is expected to make to the Jamaican economy as an addition to the tourism product, providing two percent to GDP growth.
However, he says Jamaica has shied away from gaming as a structured path of the tourism experience for a number of reasons, one of which has been whether Jamaica can manage or be able to deal with the negative impact of casino gambling.
Additionally, the Tourism Minister said there have been very strong religious views on the issue.
He added that Jamaica has been able to attract additional visitiors without a casino being established in the country.
Having considered that three casino gaming licenses will be granted, Bartlett said casinos should represent no more than 20 per cent of the value of the experience that is offered as the integrated development arrangement.
Construction of a minimum of 1,000 rooms has been laid down as the minimum requirement for a casino license.
Elaborating on the arrangement, Bartlett said the casino must come with among other things shopping and entertainment.