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Singapore Says Casinos Won't Deter Islamic Investors

21 February 2006

SINGAPORE -- As reported by Reuters: "Singapore's plunge into the casino industry is unlikely to harm its campaign to attract Islamic investors, who are opposed to gambling, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said on Tuesday.

"Singapore wants to market itself as a centre for Islamic finance, which bans interest and shuns investments in industries like gambling, brewing and tobacco -- a strategy that could put it in competition with financial centres in the Muslim world.

"Singapore is also placing a major bet on the gambling industry to support its tourism sector. It has dropped a ban on casinos and has unveiled $5 billion plans to build two casinos that would rival those in gambling havens Las Vegas and Macau.

"...Delegates at Tuesday's conference agreed Islamic investors would disregard Singapore's push into gambling, noting that mainly Muslim neighbour Malaysia had Southeast Asia's biggest Islamic banking industry despite having its own small gambling industry..."

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