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Flashback Friday: Government announces building of Integrated Resorts on April 18, 2005

Published on Apr 18, 2014 11:56 AM
A giant screen at the Funan Centre shows Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as he announces the decision on Casinos at the Parliament House. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

The Cabinet informed the Parliament on this day in 2005 of their decision to legalise casino gambling and to build two Integrated Resorts (IRs).

Members of Parliament debated the issue for months before coming to a decision. The proposal to build two IRs with casinos were criticised by religious and social groups for fear of its social ills including gambling addiction. However, the Government reasoned that the IRs will boost tourism and be beneficial for the country’s economic growth.

To minimise the social impact of casino gambling, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that there will be “comprehensive measures” put in place.

This included restricting the admission of locals by charging a entrance fee of $100 per day and barring those in financial distress or those receiving social assistance from entering the casinos.