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Thread: Integrated resorts are here to stay: Iswaran

  1. #1

    Default Integrated resorts are here to stay: Iswaran

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/arch...waran-20121117

    Published November 17, 2012

    YESTERDAY IN PARLIAMENT

    Integrated resorts are here to stay: Iswaran

    By Lynn Kan


    EVEN as the government beefs up social safeguards to contain the rise of problem gambling, it will ensure that the integrated resorts (IRs) benefit the economy in the future as neighbours such as Vietnam, South Korea and Australia start their own casinos or IRs in coming years.

    The two IRs have invested about $13 billion in Singapore, directly employ 22,400 people or 0.7 per cent of the workforce, and awarded $500 million of contracts to Singapore small and medium-sized firms in 2011, said S Iswaran, Second Minister for Home Affairs, in a parliamentary debate on changes to the Casino Control Bill.

    Singapore "should not take for granted that the success of our IRs is a given", said Mr Iswaran, who is also Second Minister for Trade and Industry. "We should bear in mind that the business challenges for the IR operators will increase as the novelty factor wears off, as the competition in the region increases."

    He said that the government would refrain from setting target ratios of gaming revenue to total IR revenue, a suggestion from MP Ang Wei Neng (Jurong GRC).

    Gaming revenues of both IRs have been significantly lower in the past two quarters due to global economic uncertainty. Moreover, non-gaming revenues increased as both operators opened up non-gaming amenities, he said.

    When deciding on renewing IRs' casino licences, the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) will decide based on its compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, as well as their performance on non-gaming facilities and attractions.

    When asked by MP Denise Phua

    (Moulmein-Kallang GRC) whether Singapore has the option to exit gaming altogether, given the tougher competition, Mr Iswaran said that to "completely jettison" casinos will "have an implication on the reputation of this country".

    "The IR operators are here because we invited proposals and award these franchises, and we have an obligation to see that through. However, we have a specific set of expectations, not just economic but also social and in terms of law and order, and we expect them to comply and meet those expectations."

    The amended Casino Control Bill will require the IRs to do more in the area of promoting responsible gambling, alongside government measures of imposing visit limits on the financially vulnerable.

    Casinos are required draw up a responsible gambling programme based on best practices elsewhere. The CRA needs to approve it and will be further empowered to audit these measures to measure their effectiveness, he said.

    Locals frequenting the IR casinos make up 25-30 per cent of casino visitors, according to estimates, and Mr Iswaran said that this has steadily declined to 10-20 per cent since 2010.

    "This trend suggests that this novelty factor is wearing off and our local market is maturing," said Mr Iswaran, adding that entry levies collected have fallen from $216 million in 2010 to $195 million in 2011.

    The government has also begun looking into protecting Singaporeans from the impact of non-casino sources of gambling.

    Three ministries - the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social and Family Development - are reviewing the regulatory framework and social safeguards concerning non-casino gambling, which includes online gambling channels, said Mr Iswaran.

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    one on coney island would be nice...

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by radha08
    one on coney island would be nice...
    with a ferry service to pasir gudang welcoming our malaysian neighbours over...

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    My personal view: The current 2 Casinos that Singapore has is more than enough.

    And personally against having any Casino at Coney Island - too near to HDB estates in the North East.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rymccondo77
    My personal view: The current 2 Casinos that Singapore has is more than enough.

    And personally against having any Casino at Coney Island - too near to HDB estates in the North East.
    just tcss only la...wont happen...if it does thats the end of punggol...

  6. #6
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    One in jurong lake district? Since they spend so much money in that area?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by radha08
    just tcss only la...wont happen...if it does thats the end of punggol...
    I see . Yup - the end of Punggol if it happens !!!

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