07 June 2011

Singapore as a Global Gaming Superpower

With the opening of two casinos in Singapore last year, the country has emerged as Asia's hottest new gaming destination and Asia has cemented its place as a major betting market.

In barely one year, the two casinos collected gaming revenue of US$5.1 billion in 2010, and are forecast to collect US$6.4 billion this year.  This may result in Singapore surpassing Las Vegas, for which the gaming revenue has been projected at US$6.2 billion this year.

Singapore has become Asia's second global gaming superpower after Macau.

It is understandable if Singaporeans are pleased or proud of their nation's status as a global financial centre, or a leading manufacturer of hard disk drives (some years ago), or a reputable manufacturer of deep sea semi-submersible drilling platforms etc.

But, a global gaming superpower?

Is it an achievement?

Gaming revenues, after all, are the net amounts of money that casino patrons lose to the casino operators.

Apart from generating some tax revenue, creating jobs as croupiers (which may or may not be filled by citizens) and giving some business to taxi drivers and food and beverage outlets, it's not clear how casinos help the country to progress and upgrade.

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