it's official: we are going to get not one but two megadevelopments involving casinos in Singapore, worth 3 billion USD. not surprising, considering the economic advantages that having casinos on the island will bring. not just taxes, but increased tourism revenue, higher hotel occupancy rates, so on and so forth. so we will get one complex on the Marina waterfront, and the other on Sentosa.
i'm mostly surprised by their turnaround on the entertainment complex -i was under the impression that the government wanted these casinos to be casinos, plain and simple -none of the attendant hotels and food courts and eZones and family entertainment centres and cinemas. i wonder what caused the turnaround: the investors, whom i believe are a consortium of Vegas casino owners, and business sense; or the need to make casinos more acceptable to the 'moral fabric' of the Singapore public by making the casino 'less than 5% of the total space' involved in these developments.
but oh! i've just read the related article on measures that the Government is taking to make sure that gambling does not adverse affect said 'moral fabric' of Singapore. take a look:
- Singaporeans and Permanent Residents of Singapore will be charged an entry fee of SGD $100 per day, or $2000 per year. (that's roughly 1250 USD per annum, and somewhere between 60 and 65 USD per day, if my back-of-the-envelope/inside my head calculations are right.) Non-Singaporeans and non-PRs will not be charged an entry fee.
- A system of exclusion (not voluntary) will be put in place so that those in financial difficulty or receiving social assistance will be denied entry into these dens of iniquity. (of course, a voluntary exlusion system will be in place, but i have no objections to you banning yourself from doing something you think is harmful.)
- Operators of casinos in Singapore will also be barred from extending credit to Singaporeans, to 'make it harder for them to lose more than they can afford'. Again, of course, i can only assume that if you are a non-Singaporean, credit will of course be extended to you so that you can give us more of your (foreign) money.
- Advertising in local media will not be allowed. (ok, i'm pretty sure i don't have any objections to this point. but mostly because i dislike television advertising in general -it pays for my CSI and West Wing, i know, i know- so the less i have to tolerate the better. esp since casinos ads are so CHEESY! i've only seen ONE i liked, and it was for Crown in Melly.)
- And of course, in a classic Singapore move, there will be a new National Council on Gambling set up to advise MCYS on the effects of problem gambling; and social workers will be 'trained' to identify 'compulsive gamblers' and refer them to social services.
- Singaporeans are babies and incapable of making responsible decisions for themselves, while foreigners (non-Singaporeans) are not babies and are perfectly capable of making responsible decisions. Therefore we must restrict the various freedoms of the Singaporean to ensure that he makes the 'right' choice (ah, the sweet scent of paternalism).
- Everyone is a baby and incapable of making responsible decisions for themselves, but we don't care what foreigners do because they don't live here most of the year. (well, other than the expatriats.)
"I believe that every time the federal government hands down a new law, it leaves for the rest of us a little less freedom. So I say, let’s just stick to the ones we absolutely need to have water come out of the faucet and our cars not stolen. That is my problem with passing a redundant law."