Singapore Government Gives Casinos The OK
Singapore’s government has approved a plan to legalize casino gambling in the country.
“We want Singapore to have the x-factor – that buzz that you get in London, Paris or New York,” said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Lee has given his approval for two new casinos on Marina Bay and Sentosa resort island.
According to a Bloomberg article, “Lee said the two casino resorts may create as many as 35,000 jobs. They may also lure tourists to a city where the economy is forecast to expand this year at half the 8.4 percent pace of 2004. The Chinese city of Macau, where 17 casinos operate, had three times the economic growth and twice as many visitors as Singapore in 2004.”
The casinos, which will be operational by 2009, have sparked a little controversy with religious groups.
Nicholas Chia, Singapore’s Roman Catholic Archbishop said, “we are very worried about the cost of human, family and social well-being,” though he understands the economic reasons.
The country could potentially save up to $180 million a year in money that Singaporeans currently spend in Malaysian casinos.