State restrictions announced for citizens who plan to use new casino complex
Wednesday 29th December 2004
Singapore's government has announced restrictions for a proposed casino in a move designed to appease church and social groups.
The project, planned as the city-state’s first casino resort, would restrict credit for Singapore citizens and permanent residents, charging them membership fees of S$100 ($61) a day or S$2,000 per year, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement.
Tourists, who contribute more than five percent to the $91 billion economy, would get free entry.
Mark Mobius, who manages emerging market stocks at Templeton Asset Management Ltd., said: “It's important for Singapore to develop its tourism industry and a casino is one of those services that attract a lot of tourists. It can be done in a nice way that's not ruinous to the society and that's been shown in many parts of the world.'
Las Vegas Sands Inc., MGM Mirage, Harrah's Entertainment Inc. and Macanese gambling tycoon Stanley Ho have all expressed interest in the project, all keen to tap into Southeast Asia, a region with a combined population of more than 500 million people, almost twice that of the United States.