The Israeli cabinet has said it will introduce to legislation to change the law that prohibits gambling in sport, this week giving the approval for new racetracks to be built in the country. Officials are hoping that entrepreneurs can be encouraged to invest in two new racecourses to be built in the north and south of the country.
Ministers say the new tracks will be a great boost to the rural economy, and that thousands of jobs will be created. A suitable site is already being sought for the first racetrack planned for the north, which seat 5,000 and is expected to cost $20 million.
'It is a wonderful idea,' said ministry spokesman Benny Romm. 'It will bring money to tourist areas in Israel.'
It is hoped the project will raise £100 million over the next five years, Romm said, from increased tourism and from government-run betting.