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Singapore Joins Global Casino Scene

23 August 2004

SINGAPORE – As reported by the BBC: "If even the famously conservative Singaporean government is considering allowing its first ever casino, the gambling industry must be hot indeed.

"Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced plans for a casino resort, hoping to cash in on the wildfire expansion of gambling around Asia.

"The announcement reflects a cultural sea-change: whereas gambling and casinos were once widely frowned upon, today they are fast-growing, both in terms of social acceptability and industry-wide revenues.

"…And in terms of geographical position it is in exactly the right place, with most gambling industry analysts seeing the Far East as the biggest growth area of all, driven in the main by the Chinese. Gambling remains illegal in mainland China, sending risk-hungry punters overseas.

"…And with Singapore wishing to move its economy more towards the service sector, as its manufacturing base continues to be hit by fast-growing Chinese competition, a shiny new casino could help boost tourist numbers.

"…The Singapore government is now seeking public feedback before making its decision in January…"

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