Specifically, in 18 April 2005, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the cabinet’s decision to develop 2 casinos and associated hotels and malls in Marina South and Sentosa. This is to attract tourist hence boosting the Singapore’s tourism industry which has been facing intense competition from other destinations around the region especially from nearby Bangkok and Hong Kong. Singapore which depends greatly on its tourism industry as a primary source of income due to the lack of natural resources and its size, finally celebrated the opening of 2 casino-based vacation resorts namely Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa in 2010.
The action had brought several negative and positive effects to the country. First and foremost, the decision had caused intense criticisms and public debates. Citizens particularly the religious communities and social workers had openly expressed their disapproval to the casinos. Concerns were raised about the social impact of gambling which had been long illegalised in Singapore since 19th century, citing worries that the casinos could encourage gambling among citizens and increase the risk of compulsive gambling. Besides, activists also argued that a casino could also lead to undesirable activities often associated with gambling, including money laundering, loan sharks or even organised crime. The effect was further aggravated when the opposition saw this situation as an opportunity to weaken the people’s trust towards the rulling government. However, the Integrated Resorts , amid the criticisms,... [continues]
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