Sign up | Log in



Home  >>  Daily News  >>   Singapore News  >>  Tourism  >> Singapore expects casino to boost tourism

15 February 2010

Singapore expects casino to boost tourism

Related Stories

February 12, 2010
Singapore's first casino to open on Chinese New Year

February 10, 2010
Singapore reports 9.7m arrivals in 2009

December 8, 2009
Singapore upbeat over Mice industry

October 28, 2009
Singapore sees rebound in tourist arrivals

September 21, 2009
F1 excites retailers and restaurants in Singapore

July 9, 2009
Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands delays opening until early 2010

Foreigners and a few Singaporeans streamed to card and dice tables and slot machines Sunday at 12:18 p.m. - the lucky minute when tightly controlled Singapore opened its first casino, reported the Associated Press.

The city-state is counting on the Resorts World Sentosa casino and another opening in May to lure tourists and expatriates without besmirching Singapore's hard-earned reputation as corruption-free.

The line for foreigners was long and deep at the midday opening, while few Singaporeans and permanent residents appeared eager to pay the fee required of them to enter. Chinese consider eight a lucky number because it sounds like prosper or wealth in the Mandarin dialect.

The casino is part of Resorts World Sentosa, built by Malaysia's Genting Bhd for 6.6 billion Singapore dollars ($4.7 billion) on an island just off Singapore's coast.

The government expects the two casino-resorts - Las Vegas Sands opens its Marina Bay Sands in May - to increase the country's gross domestic product growth by up to 1 percentage point and add 35,000 jobs.

Singapore also is trying to broaden its tourism appeal, part of a gradual shift toward a services-based economy and away from labour-intensive manufacturing that its poorer Asian neighbors can do more cheaply.

"They recognise they have to evolve," said David Cohen, an analyst with consultancy Action Economics in Singapore. "Some of their traditional industries are no longer going to be competitive as Singapore climbs the ladder into a higher income, higher cost location."

Genting Chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay said he expects 13 million visitors to Resorts World this year - 60 percent foreign and 40 percent Singaporean. He declined to say how many visitors he expected at the casino alone.

The casino proposal hit stiff public resistance when it was debated in 2005 as opponents worried about gambling-related problems such as loan-sharking and bankruptcy and a possible undermining of the country's values of discipline and hard work.

The government decided to go ahead with the projects for their economic benefit while implementing measures to minimise social harm.

All Singaporeans and permanent residents must pay SG$100 a day or SG$2,000 a year to enter a casino, while foreigners are not charged. More than 34,000 residents - including those on welfare, in bankruptcy, with criminal records or flagged by family members - are barred from the casinos.

"It's a way to mitigate and ameliorate, to have the goodness without all the badness," said Lim Hock San, chairman of the National Council on Problem Gambling.

Singapore, an island of 5 million people, has gained notice in the past for its ban on chewing gum sales, caning sentences for minor crimes such as vandalism and executions of drug smugglers.


Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below 





1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

| Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy  | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2006-2020 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand