Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Don't Say They Weren't Warned

Casino access control at Resorts World at SentosaSeveral months ago I wrote about the consequences of having casinos operating in Singapore.

In today's press comes the story of a business man who chalked up a staggering $26 million loss at Resorts World Sentosa over three days.

Apparently he was playing baccarat at $400,000 a hand and no wonder he lost $18 million in one day alone.

The media stories continue to demonstrate the negative social impact of casinos.  Two days ago a tourist jailed for cheating $100,000 from Marina Bay Sands.  A month before, a married gambler name Ong resorted to robbing homes to feed his habit.

Other headlines in the Straits Times have included in the past couple of months have included:
  • Casino cheat gets two years' jail
  • Casino chip thief asks judge to explain verdict
  • Overstayer runs out of luck at casino 
No one  should be surprised that such headlines exist.  I will be up front and state that I am not anti-casino and enjoy visiting them from time to time, but it is a fact of life that wherever one is built, crime is sure to follow.

When the idea of the Integrated Resorts (casinos) were first touted there was a wave of public dissent in Singapore; to put it simply, the majority did not want them built in the country, knowing full well that the Chinese love to gamble and the impact this passion can have on families and businesses.

And so it has proved to be.  The reported tourist boost needs to be measured against the longer term social consequences of such places and only time will tell if it was wise to build them in Singapore?
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