Thursday, September 20, 2007

Singapore's upcoming IRs

After my recent visit to Tokyo Disneyland, and also reading kennysia's experience at the Venetian Macao, I've been thinking about the upcoming IRs in Singapore and doing a little research on dear ol' Wikipedia.

(As background - kennysia was awarded a free trip to Venetian Macao as part of a publicity review thing, making me wish (for once in my life) that I was a celebrity blogger. The Venetian is a hugeass casino resort that recently opened in Macau, owned by Las Vegas Sands, which happens to be the company that is working on the IR being set up at Marina Bay in Singapore.)

I've not been keeping up with the IR plans, since I'd initially regarded them as a distant project that caters mainly for foreigners, but after reading about the grandiose plans for Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World at Sentosa (the latter of which is going to include a Universal Studios theme park), I find myself quite excited, really. Sure they're meant to draw tourists in - but what's stopping locals from visiting them too? Domestic tourism in Singapore, at last!

There are social costs, of course, involved in setting up a casino, true, but compared to the potential economical benefit? I can really imagine the two IRs being a major draw where tourism is concerned. Moreover, Singapore is small. We already have a (pretty effective) police force in place. Along with the planned restrictions for locals in entering the casinos (something I don't personally have a problem with, since I'm not particularly interested in that part of the IR), it seems like these costs can be kept to a minimum.

Of course I might be terribly wrong, but at this point in time, 2009/2010 (when the resorts open) seems to be an exciting period ahead for Singapore.

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