Former Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Gerald Giam, a member of the Workers’ Party (WP), has asked why the Government is allowing Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) to expand its gambling area, even as the casinos remain commercially viable.
Yesterday (3 Mar), the Government said that both the MBS and RWS integrated resorts are set to grow with a S$9 billion expansion investment. This latest investment is nearly two-thirds their initial investment of about S$15 billion in 2006.
The Government said that MBS and RWS will invest this large amount in exchange for the extension of their exclusivity period until end-2030. This means that no other casinos will be introduced in Singapore until the end of the exclusivity period.
Interestingly, the Government has given both the casinos additional gaming provisions. They reasoned that they have allowed for this expansion is so that the resorts can remain “commercially viable”. Channel NewsAsia reported yesterday:
Both MBS and RWS, which are currently allowed 15,000 sq m of approved gaming area and 2,500 gambling machines, will be allowed to deploy an additional 2,000-500 sq m and 1,000-850 gambling machines under the new agreement.
WP politician Gerald Giam questioned the reasoning behind this allowance. In a pointed Facebook post, Mr Giam asked:
“The government says these concessions will help these casino resorts to remain “commercially viable” in view of their expansion.
“However casino magnate Shelden Adelson, who owns MBS, was quoted in the same article saying that MBS has “exceeded all of our hopes in growing leisure and business tourism in Singapore.”
“This certainly sounds like MBS is exceedingly “viable”, which raises the question: Why is there a need to allow casino gambling to expand in Singapore?”
Read Mr Giam’s post in full here:
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