Asia Minute: Singapore’s Growing Gambling Resorts

Apr 4, 2019

Singapore
Credit Someformofhuman / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Hawaiʻi's state legislature has been looking at Singapore as a possible model for certain kinds of publicly-supported housing. But this week, there are new developments when it comes to another part of Singapore's urban planning.

 


Singapore’s casinos are getting bigger.

It was a little over nine years ago that Singapore opened its first casino — part of a broader set of developments called “integrated resorts.” Those include restaurants and hotels, such as the Marina Bay Sands, the one with the rooftop swimming pool that had a starring role in the movie “Crazy Rich Asians.”

The operators of two resorts will be pouring nearly 7-billion U.S. dollars into their developments. Las Vegas Sands and Genting Gaming of Malaysia will be assured of a continuing duopoly until 2030 — no new operators will be allowed.

Some of their investment money will go to expanding casinos, but even more will be spent on other aspects of the properties. There will be more hotel rooms, another rooftop pool, and two themed attractions will be added — “Super Nintendo World” and “Minion Park.” The size of the local aquarium will be tripled. And taxes will be going up for the operators.

Another change that’s coming even sooner: an increase in the charges locals have to pay to gamble at the casinos — an increase of 50% to more than 110 U.S. dollars for a 24-hour pass.

That’s in order, the government says, to discourage what it calls “problem gambling.”