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Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Leviathan at Work at MBS Casino

The article abstracted below from TODAY (June 8, 2010) illustrates how our LEVIATHAN state is affecting visitors to the MBS's resort for purpose other than gambling.

Although I do not support the habit of gambling at casinos, I also could not support this LEVIATHAN mindset at work.

The following comment, by a certain Daniel in YAHOO NEWS, is simply apt.

Daniel on June 8, 2010 at 2:47 am

Well, maybe MBS should start a fire and have all the fire exits behind the casino area [sealed] ! They’ll make a fortune! $100 per person.

Seriously, this is damn ISO thinking, totally rigid, totally follow procedure with no flexibility. Is it any surprise that we end up having a reputation for lack of creativity or thinking? If the government does charge either party, I’m definately going to write a complaint letter, probably titled “Overly rigid, lack of intelligence”, it’s not as if the patrons were there for the casino, you want them to wait until the lifts were fixed? How many hours will that take?

We know in Land Law, if a property is surrounded all around by other pieces of land, this land owner enjoys an "easement" over the surrounding pieces of land, and enjoys a free passage through them. This situation is pretty similar, and what right is there to deprive one of such natural justice even if there is the Casino Control Act?

However, the main issue is about the flexibility in exercising a waiver during an emergency and how people are empowered to act without the creation of more rules to support a Leviathan state, especially when the objective is to collect a hefty "LEVY".

Can the common people including the casino staff exercise a discretion under such extraordinary circumstances and during an emergency, without refering to an Authority, just like this incident warrants and illustrates?
Abstracted from TODAY June 8, 2010.

Incident raises question: Should law on levy be tweaked?

Teo Xuanwei

SINGAPORE — The letter of the law is clear: No local residents — save for casino employees and authorities carrying out their duties — are exempt from paying the levy to enter the casinos.

Even Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong paid $100 when he and some grassroots leaders visited Resorts World Sentosa “to take a look” a few weeks after it opened.

"No choice, all Singaporeans must buy!" he had recounted in a speech last month.

Yet, there remains a question mark — one month after it happened — about the 15 diners who waltzed through Marina Bay Sands' (MBS) casino without paying the levy.

Under the Casino Control Act, such an action carries a fine of up to $1,000, plus the levy amount.

MBS, by failing to collect the levies, would have also flouted Section 116 of the Act — which makes it liable to disciplinary action, such as cancellation or suspension of its casino license, a letter of censure or being fined not more than $1 million ....................................................................

The diners had patronised one of MBS’restaurants, Imperial Treasure, on May 4. They were on level 2 of the restaurant, but when it was time to leave, they discovered that the two lifts — their only exits on that level — were out of order.

The only other exit was through the casino, but MBS staff told them they would then have to pay the levy.

The diners refused and after a 30-minute impasse — part of which one of them recorded and uploaded on YouTube — they decided to walk through the casino without paying.

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