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Deputy PM Wong appreciates Singapore’s IRs and pledges aid for Japan’s growing casino market

May 30, 2023 JapanSingapore Industry Updates

Since their opening in 2010, Singapore’s two integrated resorts have received accolades from Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, who noted that they had generated significant economic advantages and established Singapore as a top travel destination worldwide.

Additionally, he pledged to assist Japan in creating its own integrated resort and gaming sector, arguing that the two nations might benefit from one another’s expertise.

Wong made his remarks during a Q&A session that followed his speech at the Nikkei Forum 28th Future of Asia: Leveraging Asia’s power to confront global challenges on Friday. In his speech, Wong talked about regional political threats and difficulties, the potential for increased cooperation between ASEAN countries, and the significance of ensuring economic prosperity.

After Osaka and its partners MGM Resorts and ORIX Corp received approval last month to build a US$10 billion integrated resort in Osaka, Wong was asked if he had any advice for Japan regarding the introduction of casinos. He responded, “We call the casinos in Singapore integrated resorts because it was never just about casinos. The main goal was to construct an integrated resort with a wide range of amenities that we could not have done without the casino and that would ultimately result in the creation of numerous additional jobs for Singaporeans. And we’ve since enjoyed the benefits.

“We have constructed two integrated resorts (Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa), and we have observed the positive effects these resorts have had on the local economy, the number of jobs they have generated, and Singapore’s standing as a destination for top-notch entertainment and lifestyle options. That’s good news, then.”

Concerning worries about compulsive gambling, Wong said there was always a chance that “issues” may come up but added that certain safety measures had been put in place.

“We set up a regulatory authority, we put measures in place to make sure that having a casino will not result in more addiction and problem gambling, and so far we have been able to manage that quite well,” he said.

We are aware that Osaka, Japan, will soon experience something novel, and we are eager to share our experiences and further our mutual learning.

The sector is now waiting to hear whether a second development by Casinos Austria will be permitted for development in Nagasaki after the IR in Osaka was granted.

Singapore, on the other hand, is actively growing its own IR sector, with MBS and RWS both beginning separate US$3.3 billion expansion projects. Singapore, meanwhile, is in the midst of expanding its own IR industry with both MBS and RWS in the early stages of separate US$3.3 billion expansion projects.

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