Friday, April 17, 2009

The Singapore Integrated Resort (IR) - Collateral damage?

As the building of the Integrated Resort (IR) progresses towards completion, the newly created Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) is starting to make its presence known. In today's Straits Times, the CRA revealed how they will 'protect' gamblers and society by following a hybrid approach: The statutory board will have two arms - one dedicated mainly to the task of keeping bad hats out, the other to prevent Singaporeans from gambling beyond their means.

I am sure the CRA will do its work well as any other regulatory authority in Singapore.

What many people have concerns about are the issues that are not so directly related to the casino itself. Perhaps you can control the gambling and the organized crime. But what about the other stuff like prostitution and alcohol related problems? Even without the IR, the police already seem to be unable (or even unwilling, some would say), to manage the burgeoning problems related to prostitution and binge drinking among our young.

What hope is there for us once the IR and casino dominate our social landscape?

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