Singapore Govt Says Casino Related Crimes Have Dropped Significantly
Whenever anti-gambling lobbyists and legislators make a case for banning gambling in all forms, they invariably bring up the fact that the gambling industry has links to organized crime. While this is the case in some countries, there are also a number of countries that have a regulated and clean gambling industry.
Singapore recently released information regarding casino related crimes and confirmed that very few crimes had any links to organized crime. The government has also pointed out that all of the gaming-related crime in the small city-state is completely under control.
Singapore does not have a massive casino industry. The city-state has only two licensed casinos but they are very popular throughout the world. The two casinos are Marina Bay Sands which is operated by Las Vegas Sands Corp and Resorts World Sentosa which is operated by the Genting Group.
Singapore has very strict laws and is considered one of the safest countries in the world.
In a statement, Josephine Teo, Second Minister for Home Affairs, said
Since 2010 – ever since we started the tracking, when the casinos’ operations commenced – there have been fewer than 20 in total criminal matters that are traced to syndicates. If you look at the amounts of money involved, it was between SGD14,000 to SGD1.3 million.
Teo also noted that the two casinos operating in Singapore have a great interest in ensuring that crime is stamped out in their respective casino. They work closely together with the authorities and that has helped to keep crime rates low and not allow crime syndicates to get any control of casino operations.
The Singapore government recently agreed for the two integrated casino resorts to expand their facilities and operate until the year 2030. This was in return for a total investment of SGD9 billion.
Low Amount of Crimes
Teo also pointed out that the authorities have successfully lowered the number of casino crimes. In 2010, there were 299 cases. This has fallen by 58 percent, with only 126 cases reported in 2018. According to reports, most of these crimes were just petty in nature. They usually involved theft and cheating at casino tables. Thanks to a zero-tolerance approach to casino crimes, police have managed to curb a lot of them.
Teo was also asked about the casino-entry levy and how effective it was in preventing native Singaporeans from gambling too much. Records show that about SGD1.3 billion in casino entry fees have been collected from between 2010 to 2018, which has caused the number of local visitors to drop by as much as 50 percent.
David is our resident 'down under' contributor, letting us know what is going on in the southern hemisphere, he is also keen blackjack player