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Casino Projected to Plug $1.7b Leak Overseas
Singaporeans spend close to US$1 billion (S$1.7 billion) a year in
foreign casinos and having one here will not only plug this leak, but
also give the convention industry a boost.
The figure was cited by Dutch bank ABN Amro and a United States-based
gaming and leisure consulting company, The Innovation Group, at an
industry conference yesterday.
Experts at the two-day conference said that most of the money now
ends up in casinos in Genting, on cruise ships and in Batam.
Pointing to Las Vegas as an example, Mr Sean Monaghan, the director
of gaming and wagering research in East Asia and Australasia at ABN Amro,
said that casinos support the convention and exhibition industry there.
‘People attend conferences in the day and there are usually no
programmes lined up in the evenings, so going to the casino at night is
another activity for them.
‘Singapore needs the infrastructure to support its convention and
exhibition industry; otherwise, it might lose its market share,’ he
The unregulated gaming industry in East Asia is estimated to be worth
Besides yielding significant revenue for governments in the region,
there are other benefits to legalising the gaming industry like
increased tourism and job creation, said Professor Alex Blaszczynski,
the director of the gambling research unit at the University of Sydney.
Experts at the inaugural Asian Gaming Expo, which ended yesterday,
admitted that social problems could arise as a result of legalised
gaming, but said safeguards could be put in place.
Governments must have educational support and treatment in place,
said Professor Andy Nazarechuk of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, a
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