There has been much debate in Singapore both amongst the politicians, religious leaders, senior people in the community, and the lay people at large. It is a hot topic. But, the decision has finally been made, the casino will be built.
There are many arguments both for and against building a casino. The government, which is for, cites the economic advantages and everyone who is against cites the social impact the casino will have.
Arguments FOR the casino
The government's main argument for the casino is increased revenue leading to a boost in the economy.
Currently, Singapore's revenue comes from high tech electronics manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and finance. These industries are starting to slow. According to Reuters Singapore employment in the manufacturing sector has dropped 9% since 1990. In 2004, 14 per 1,000 were laid off in the manufacturing sector and 8.5 per 1,000 in the services sector.
The government's alternative has been to reverse a 4 decade ban on casino's to help the Singapore economy.
The majority of the focus in the long term is from tourism and the flow on effects of tourism such as hospitality, food, retail, taxi, conventions and aviation. The government fears that a steady decline in tourism is already happening. The Prime Minister in his ministerial statement on April 18 2005 said:
"First, we are losing ground in tourism. Tourism in Asia is growing phenomenally, especially the traffic from China and India. Singapore's tourist numbers are up too, but we see warning signs of problems ahead. Our market share is declining (from 8% in the Asia Pacific region in 1998 to 6% in 2002). Tourists are spending less time in Singapore. They used to stay an average of about 4 days in 1991, but now they stay only for 3 days. In contrast, on average, they are staying for about 4 days in Hong Kong, 5 days in London...