The Trade and Industry Minister, Chan Chun Sing, announced a slew of developments that are in theory, set to be a boon for the tourism sector in Singapore. The whole project that will cost about $9 billion dollars, will lead to the expansion of the two integrated resorts, MBS, and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). According the a joint-statements by the Ministries of Finance, Home Affairs, and Social and Family Development, these projects will eventually lead to the creation of some 5,000 jobs in Singapore.
The establishments of the two IRs were debated in Singapore, including in the Parliament, before they were eventually given the approvals. These debates were primarily centred on the potential social and religious impacts that they may have, in comparison to the economic and financial benefits that they may bring.
These debates are still relevant now.
Gambling addiction is a real social ill that not only affects the gambler, but also the family and their networks that are close to them. Lives and families are destroyed and broken apart because of the stresses from the financial pressure that they face.
Is it worth it?
Will the safeguards be sufficient protection against the degradation of the family? There are already alternatives to gambling in Singapore. Some prefer to go to gamble on cruise ships. Others go to casinos in neighbouring countries. This should not stop the relevant authorities from putting in place better and safer safeguards.
Economics cannot be prioritised at the expense of our social compact.