Monday, January 09, 2006

Casinos: Why not?

Since Beast has post an article on his views on the upcoming IR projects, I will also post mine.

Before I start, let me clarify that I am a supporter of the IR projects.

The 2 IR projects will lead to an injection of am estimated total of US$5 billion into our economy. I believe that by any count that would be a large boost for the Singapore economy.

Furthermore, the remaining bidders for the IR projects are the world’s 3 biggest casino operators like MGM Mirage, Harrah's and Las Vegas Sands. I don’t think that they would be prepared to invest up US$3 billion in the project if they are not confident of its success. Singapore’s convention industry would also receive a massive boost from the IR projects.

As for the social cost of the casinos, I would only say the long economic downturn probably drove more people to loan sharks and crimes then any other factors. The 2 IR projects can , in my opinion, provide the economic boost that S’pore sorely needs.

My only complain on this issue is on the process of how the issue has been decided. The building of casinos in S’pore is a very divisive issue for Singaporeans; hence it is only appropriate that whatever decision that is finally made has the support of the majority of the Singaporeans. Therefore I believe that a referendum should be held on the issue to let Singaporeans decide if the IR projects should go ahead.


At 10:09 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger BEAST said...

I actually do agree with you, but again, what really irks me is the lack of transparency: The govt claims to seek the views of the people, yet tenders the bid before the issue has even been raised.

The economic wealth brought in by these casinos can no doubt generate revenue for govt coffers, but again, who benefits? The people? As for jobs, there are reports that the majority of the high-end jobs will be held by FTs, since casino-related jobs are quite specialized fields that locals here can never hope to fill.Which means, the majority of the low-end jobs will most likely be fielded by.......yup, Singaporeans.

As for the detrimental effects of gambling, time will tell whether it will become a breeding ground for hard core drug addicts and more loanshark activities.

At 1:58 AM, January 10, 2006, Blogger at82 said...

I am also not sure the detrimental social effects of gambling would manifest itself in the future.

However actually, I would prefer taxing the gamblers to increase the govt coffers rather the general public. Moreover with the increase in tax revenues from the casinos, there are less reasons for the govt for increase other taxes like GST when they lack $. Who knows, perhaps the increase in tax revenue could even be used to strengthen the social security system in Spore.

I would agree that the high-end casino jobs would probably goes to the FTs 1st. But that is inevitable, for currently there are just no enough qualified ppl to take up the jobs. But as time goes on chances are there will be more qualified singaporeans to take up the jobs. Moreover the casinos will also increase the demand for labour in the hotel, entertainment, retail and convention industries. So overall there still will be significant increase in job opportunities for the locals.

At 12:49 PM, January 10, 2006, Blogger BEAST said...

Yes, I agree with you on this count.

It will take years to really understand the extent of the gambling addiction problem after the casinos open, although my gut feeling tells me that most casinos will close because of the overbearing rules installed by the govt.

At 6:05 PM, January 14, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i dont think it works that way.

but i dont know how to argue it. so i'll just tell you what a friend told me. a guy from wales (uk), went for an interview for the position of webdesigner at her firm. his last monthly salary was 3,000 pounds. and that's for wales, not london.


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