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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Support The Anti-Gambling Cause

The Singapore Government approved and supported the timely opening of the two IR projects, including their star attractions - the 2 casinos.

The primary "economic" objectives must have been met, with promising data announced so far on the amount of CASINO entry levy collected by the two casino operators for the Government, which amounted to about $70 million as of May 10. This must have been "easy" revenue for the Government.

As I worked in the construction industry, without surprise; I had been approached by HR hunters to work at during the construtcion phase of these 2 iconic construction projects which offered good salaries, though on a contract basis. However, I had all given them a miss in order to see through my previous project (a Polytechnic project); and most importantly, I do not believe in supporting the gambling cause, despite its economic justification by our Government.

Casino gambling is certainly different from making small bets on 4D, TOTO or Sports bets on the World Cup matches, as the attached report from Yahoo News "Teen chalks up S$3.4 million losses" unfolds.

Reference # 1
Yahoo News
Teen chalks up S$3.4 million losses
By Ion Danker – May 29th, 2010

A millionaire’s son in Malaysia who started gambling at the age of 16 accumulated losses of up to S$3.4 million by the time he was 19.

In a news report on the star online, the boy’s father was a compulsive gambler who lost millions in foreign football bets over the internet before his son picked up the habit.

According to Klang Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Teh Kim Poo, who was unable to coax the teenager to come forward to relate his gambling spree, the teen grew up watching his father gamble and at the age of 16, gambling agents gave him a credit line of S$42,000.

Said Teh, “His father bailed him out each time he went into debt. He would lie to his father that he needed money for his college fees but used it to pay gambling agents.”

The final straw came when the losses hit S$3.4 million. The father, in his 50s, barred him from gambling and stopped his son from attending college. He is said to be working for his father now.

What makes people, especially teens, start gambling? Is it ‘hereditary’?

The incident will certainly raise some concern in Singapore.

With the opening of the two Integrated Resorts, the gambling bug has hit Singaporeans despite the S$100 casino levy imposed.

A Straits Times report on 19 May indicated that the two casino operators, Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands, have collected about S$70 million in entry levies as of 10 May since they opened.

What makes people, especially teens, start gambling? Are they lured by the temptation of taking a shortcut to making it big?

Or does nurture play a role? The incident in Malaysia seems to indicate so.

Parents play an important role in their children’s lives and should set a good example for their kids to follow.

A father-son relationship is all about a boy emulating his father. In order for this to be an effective relationship, a father must be a good role model to his son. As the old saying goes, like father, like son.

Reference # 2
Wed, May 19, 2010

CASINO entry levy collected by the two casino operators in Singapore have amounted to about $70 million as of May 10, said Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

Nominated MP Mr Terry Lee asked the Minister during a parliament session this week on the breakdown of the total amount of casino levy collected and how this collection will benefit Singaporeans.

In a written response, Dr Balakrishnan answered that all casino entry levies are paid to the Singapore Totalisator Board and are used to fund projects which benefit the community.

He also said that "it would be premature to draw conclusions on casino patronage and its attendant social impact from the entry levy data as it is still early days".

MCYS will continue to ensure that sufficient resources are dedicated to tackle the issue of problem gambling, said the Minister.

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