|It may have been the state that famously banned chewing gum from its shores, but Singapore is to seriously rethink its stance on casinos and gaming. In an effort to attract more visitors and take a slice of the lucrative Asian gaming pie, the Singaporean government is working on a plan to build the country’s first ever resort-style casino. And the tiny island is thinking big. Trade and Industry Minister, George Yeo, described the project as an 'international facility, with more relaxed rules to attract international talent, visitors and investments'. |
Singapore has a state lottery which, according to GK Goh Research economist Song Seng Wun, accounts for a tenth of Singapore's $16.5 billion tax revenue.
Singaporeans, themselves, spend about $340 million annually in casinos in neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia and the government is waking up to the fact that it missing out on its share of the US$13 billion Asian gaming market.
The plan has its fair share of detractors, however, led by the National Council of Churches, who complain: 'Singapore is not so poor and desperate that we have to depend on revenues from casinos and gambling'.
The government is due to reach a decision by the end of the year.