United States-based Red Warrior Entertainment claimed that it has secured a landmark license to operate a casino in the kingdom of Tonga. There’s just one problem: the government of Tonga denied issuing any kind of gaming license.
Three days ago, Red Warrior Entertainment announced that it has received the “Exclusive National Master Gaming License” from the government of Tonga. According to the U.S. company, the license is “the first of its kind issued from Tonga and covers all Class I, II & III Gaming.”
Red Warrior Entertainment CEO Ronald Pate, Chickasaw, said the license “was issued upon approval at His Majesty’s Cabinet decision No. 1194” last Nov 4. Pate also claimed to have received a formal letter and proclamation from the Minister of Customs last Nov. 24, while the license agreement was completed last Jan. 9.
Tonga’s Prime Minister Office, however, denied the claim.
In a statement, government officials pointed out that gambling is prohibited in the islands under Tonga’s Criminal Offences Act 1926, so “any intention from Red Warrior Entertainment or any casino company to apply for a gaming license would be futile.”
The Prime Minister’s Office described Red Warrior as a “foreign team counterpart” of foreign investment company Amira-Unison-Gatti LLP, which submitted a government proposal last November to build a tourism facility called “Tavake Tamafua Investment Project.” The project covers three facilities: an airport hotel and shopping mall, a luxevilla and “the Aria Tourism Entertainment Gaming Resort.”
The cabinet initially supported the project, but last Nov. 11, cabinet members changed their mind and nixed the plan for the Aria Tourism Entertainment Gaming Resort, according to Matangi Tonga Online.
“The Cabinet further directed that the full plan for the Pearl Airport Hotel and Shopping Mall and the Frangipani Luxevillas are to be submitted for final consideration and approval,” the Prime Minister’s Office stated.