Thursday, September 9, 2010

Singapore Goverment probe into Free Bus Service to Singapore's Two Casinos

People queuing for free shuttle buses at Resorts World Sentosa after RWS has extended its free shuttle bus service to the several heartlands. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

THE Government is investigating the provision of free bus rides in Singapore to the two integrated resorts by their operators.

The probe, announced on Wednesday by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), is to establish that Singaporeans are not targetted and encouraged to go to the casinos at the integrated resorts (IRs).

It comes amid protests from MPs like Mr Liang Eng Hwa who, in an interview with The Straits Times, said the free rides encouraged Singaporeans in the heartland to gamble at the casinos.

Following queries from The Straits Times, the ministry said in an email reply: 'We are investigating the provision of free transport by the IR operators. The IR operators will not be allowed to target the local market or provide incentives in any form for Singaporeans to patronise the casinos.'

Both IRs provide free bus services. Marina Bay Sands free shuttle is between the resort and Changi Airport and hotels in the Marina Bay area. The free shuttle of RWS are available at two spots in the Central Business District as well as 12 HDB town centres, including Ang Mo Kio, Jurong East, Tampines and Bedok.

When contact, RWS said 'we do not provide special casino incentives to Singaporeans'. It also released its own survey of 2,500 users of the free shuttle and it shows 'more than 60 per cent' do not go to the casino.



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