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Asia Poised for Casino Boom

19 April 2004

CHINA – As reported by the China Post:"Asia's legal gambling industry is poised to boom with a spate of new casinos as governments around the region seek to haul in the billions of dollars circulating through the unlicensed system, analysts say.

"Singapore's announcement last month that it is considering allowing a casino on its popular Sentosa tourist island is the latest in a string of moves by governments around the region to expand legalized gambling, they say.

"In Thailand, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has said private businesses will be allowed to set up casinos if a national referendum on the proposal, due to be held this year, is approved by a simple majority.

"Japan and Taiwan are also moving towards legalizing casinos, with the first Japanese school for croupiers due to open this month in Tokyo in anticipation of the development.

"…However, there is a strong counter-argument centered on the social ills that casinos fuel, and the signal given to society when governments sanction a vice that can lead to serious personal problems.

"…The publisher of Las Vegas-based Global Gaming Business magazine, Paul Dworin, said 85 percent of Asia's legal casino industry was currently divided between the Philippines, Macau, South Korea and Malaysia…"

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