Casino study cost Dennis Foo $250k

Dear Straits Times,

I refer to the 31 Oct 2010 report of the interview with Mr Dennis Foo.

Mr Foo claims that every first world country in the west has casinos. Does that automatically mean that we should have casinos? Will Mr Foo apply the same logic to press freedom? Every first world country in the west has press freedom. Should we therefore have press freedom as well? Furthermore, the Westerners are hardly the big time gamblers that the Chinese are. Singapore, a predominantly Chinese society will be hurt much more by the casinos than Western countries.

Being in a six-hour flying radius from Singapore doesn’t mean that gamblers will simply fly in just to gamble. If gambling is all they want, they can always go to Macau which is nearer.

We can’t just look at the tourist arrivals this year and conclude that they were due to the casinos. The rebound in tourist arrivals after the SARs year of 2003 was even more impressive even though there were no integrated resorts opening then.

The fact that Mr Foo’s outlets suffered a 20% hit in business despite the increase in tourist arrivals as well as increase in foreigner population goes to show that the integrated resorts have cannibalised on local businesses. As such, their real contributions are actually much less than what they appear to be on paper.


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