Date
20 September 2017
Tourists taking photos against the backdrop of the Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore. After a stunning debut, the city’s casinos have seen their growth slow down. Photo: Bloomberg
Tourists taking photos against the backdrop of the Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore. After a stunning debut, the city’s casinos have seen their growth slow down. Photo: Bloomberg

Singapore casinos face growth constraints

After a spectacular debut, Singapore’s casinos have stopped growing, partly due to the government’s reluctance to let them expand or relax the strict gambling rules, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

As a result, investor enthusiasm on the city’s gaming industry has gone sour, the report said.

“There’s little investor interest in Singapore,” Ben Lee, managing partner at casino consultancy iGamix, was quoted as saying. “They’ve given up.”

The government isn’t likely to change its policies any time soon, Eugene Tan, a member of parliament and an associate law professor at Singapore Management University, told the paper. The city wants to show that its casinos—the most profitable on the planet—are also the world’s best regulated, he said.

While some have praised Singapore as a regulatory model for other markets in Asia, investors and industry executives hope new casinos in the region will perform more like the resorts in Macau, where proximity to mainland China and less strict oversight have led to extraordinary growth, the report said. 

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