PLACING STAKES ON PROSPERITY
To increase tourism and give a boost to the service sector, Singapore's government has lifted a 40-year ban against casinos and made the decision to build the city-state's first casinos. This has raised some public concern for gambling is associated with social ills and carries a stigma. On the other hand, a casino is an efficient way of attracting tourists and boosting the local economy.
Singapore has approached the issue in a rather original way: the casinos will be incorporated into a grander scheme of either a business and convention centre, or a family-oriented entertainment district, taking up two sites at the Marina Bayfront and Sentosa Island. The two are referred to as Integrated Resorts (IRs), and the casinos are expected to fill up less than five per cent of the total floor area at each resort.