Jamaica’s first regulated casino should be up and running by the start of 2020 but Jamaica will not be a casino destination.

That was the pronouncement from Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett recently. He was speaking on Friday at a seminar on the Hospitality Industry and Casino Operator’s Guide to Managing U.S. Liability Issues from the Caribbean, at Sandals Montego Bay.

While not giving details on the first casino, Mr. Bartlett spoke of the contribution casino gaming is expected to make to the Jamaican economy as an addition to the tourism product, providing 2-percent to GDP growth.

Minister Bartlett says they’ve shied away from gaming as a structured path of the tourism experience for a long time for a number of reasons. He says one has been the experiences they’ve looked at in other places and some of the attendant negatives. He says he does not see Jamaica ever becoming a casino destination but rather a destination in which casino gaming is available.