~by: Leong Sze Hian~
2nd in the world for gambling losses?
I refer to the article “Gambling: The biggest losers” (The Economist, May 16).
It states that “Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa alone nearly outgross the entire Las Vegas Strip”.
In the chart accompanying the above article, “Biggest gamblers – Loss per resident adult, 2010. $ (US$)”, Singapore is ranked number two in the world, at about US$1,180.
Australia is ranked number one at about US$1,280.
If there are about three million adult residents aged 17 and above in Singapore, does it mean that the total gambling losses in a year is more than $3 billion?
In this connection, according to the article “Singapore’s casino gamble pays off one year on” (AsiaoneNews, Feb 23), “PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted that Singapore would overtake South Korea and Australia this year to become the second-largest Asia-Pacific casino market behind traditional leader Macau.
“In 2011, with a full year’s operation for both resorts, we expect revenues to reach US$5.5 billion, growing to US$8.3 billion by 2014,” it said”.
35 per cent increase in pawn shop loans?
According to the Monthly Digest of Statistics (MDS) for Nov 2011, released by the Department of Statistics on 2 December 2011, Pledges at Pawn Shops have been growing steadily from 2.78 to 2.98 million, from 2009 to 2010, and 320,000 in the month of August 2011 alone. The Amount of Loans Given Out by pawn shops increased from $2 to $2.7 billion from 2009 to 2010, and $492 million in Agust 2011 alone. This is an increase of 35 per cent for the year ($2.7 divided by $2 billion).
Are the above statistics linked to casino gambling?
Following the change in the moneylenders’ regulations, allowing moneylenders to charge any interest rate instead of the previous maximum of 18 oer cent per annum, moneylending boomed so much that recently a ban has been put on advertising by moneylenders. We no longer have the more than a dozen pages of advertisements daily in a newspaper, or the distribution of flyers along the streets.
Is this growth in moneylending linked to casino gambling too?
In my letter “Singapore ahead in the losing game?” (Today, Aug 3), I wrote:
“I refer to the article “IRs here have not created more gambling addicts: CRA” (July 30). On the call for greater transparency regarding the number of Singaporeans entering the casinos, it states that Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) chief executive Lau Peet Meng had agreed that the legality of the information – and how it is shared – could be looked into more carefully.
I find it strange that the Casino Control Act can be crafted such that statistics on how many Singaporeans are entering the two casinos may not be revealed. I have read the Act and am unable to find such a prohibition. Can the CRA point out the specific section(s)?
Then how was the former Community Development, Youth and Sports Minister able to disclose last September in Parliament that more than a million Singapore residents had visited the casinos since they opened?
While CRA chairman Richard Magnus said last week that it was an “urban legend that quite a number of our (residents) frequent the casinos” and had cited an Institute of Mental Health study that gambling addiction numbers remain the same, surely giving the statistics on Singaporean visitors would be the best way to end speculation that more are gambling.”
One of the primary reasons for having the two integrated resorts was that they would create a lot of jobs for Singaporeans. To date, I think we still do not have a full accounting of how many of the jobs created went to Singaporeans, permanent residents (PRs) and foreigners?
picture credit: The Economist