Placing bigger bets on entertainment

Straits Times - 04-08

Just how far Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) have come is evident in their willingness to commit $9 billion in investments to expand their integrated resorts (IRs). When they opened nine years ago, they transformed Singapore's physical and economic skyline. However, their arrival was preceded by a great deal of discussion and a marked degree of disquiet: did Singapore need casinos - although the two resorts were more than just gaming businesses? Should not Singapore be focusing its economic strategies and energies on raising the competitive skills of its population instead of taking the route of attracting foreign money? Most of all, would the IRs amplify the human penchant for gambling among Singaporeans, and have familial and social consequences, to the point of threatening the moral cohesion of society? Those were relevant questions, but they have been answered in large part in the course of the past years.