The first settlement was established in 1890 in Flying Fish Cove on the island, mainly as a collection point for timber and other materials. This was followed by phosphate mining in 1899, which is still in existence today.
Early history until the 1980s revolved around mining in the Christmas Islands, and there are no known instances of gambling activities during this early period, when there were very few inhabitants.
In the past, it housed an elite casino and resort called the Christmas Island Casino, which was planned by a Perth property tycoon named Frank Woodmore in the 1980s. It came about due to the closure of casinos in Indonesia due to religious restrictions on the Islamic population of Indonesia.
The casino and resort were opened in 1993, and tourism increased on the island. The issue that led to the closure of the casino pertained to air connectivity. In 1997, air services were severely curtailed, and in 1998, the tourism industry came to a standstill due to the economic collapse in Asia. The Christmas Island casino shut down operations.
After the casino closed, the population also reduced since many people left the island to find alternate sources of work.
Gambling in Christmas Island Nowadays
Recently, there have been demands from the local population as well as others to reopen the casino. It is felt that resuming tourism will help the island and also provide job opportunities. The current activities on the island are unable to support the local economy.
But there are those who object to the idea, saying that it will disturb the ecological balance in the area and that tourism could have negative impacts as well.
Looking at the future, the lack of economic activity may force the authorities to reconsider opening the new casino to increase tourism. Since the infrastructure already exists, the only action to be taken is to reissue the licence for the casino and restart it. This will immediately provide jobs and improve the local economy.
Christmas Island does have internet access, but not through mobile carriers. The satellite connectivity is not very reliable and is unsuitable for accessing old and new casinos online. Hence, people can experience difficulties to play on new casino sites, however it is not impossible.