TODAY: Workers’ Party rejects casino idea

THE Workers’ Party (WP) has officially rejected the idea of including a casino in any proposed integrated resort.

The party’s executive council arrived at its decision after reviewing feedback from its members and various groups, and from a public consultation exercise it said it held last month.

It also looked at surveys done in other countries and cities with casinos.

In a statement released yesterday, the WP said there was “no clarity” to the negative mid and long-term impact a casino would have on Singapore.

Arguing that a casino would “aggravate” the adverse effects of the “current proliferation of gaming outlets” in Singapore, it called on the Government to do a study of the current situation so that the public will be able to make a balanced judgment.

The economic benefits cited have “not been convincing”, it said, and it is unclear how long a casino would give Singapore tourism an advantage, and to what extent citizens would benefit from the jobs created.

Singapore’s small size would mean that families would be unable to escape “the influence of a casino”, said the WP, adding that an integrated resort would be “sugar-coated” as a family entertainment centre and attract both parents and children to a venue known for a “gaming culture”. – DERRICK A PAULO