Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Singapore Goverment Taking Steps to Stop Casinos' "UNFAIR" Publicity

SINGAPORE : The Singapore Government is taking steps to stop the two integrated resorts (IRs) - Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa - from targeting Singaporeans in their casino publicity materials.

Community Development, Youth and Sports Minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, said this in response to a question in Parliament.

Seah Kian Peng, MP for Marine Parade GRC, asked: "I have noticed of late that the IRs publicise the wins of some of the patrons who go there. They will do something on the website that says, so and so have won x dollars, and ask them to come back, or thank them for their patronage. Is that something we would want to encourage? Is that legal?"

Dr Balakrishnan responded: "They will want to publicise the wins, you will find that they never publicise the losses and the consequences of those losses on the gamblers and their families. So MCYS is taking steps to put a stop to that sort of asymmetric and unfair publicity."

Dr Balakrishnan added that it is too premature to comment on the social impact of the casinos, as they have opened for less than a year.

But his ministry is monitoring existing safeguards, and will enhance them if necessary.

As of 31 December, 297 Family Exclusion Orders and 3,519 Self-Exclusion Orders have been issued.

At least three-quarters of those barred are male, and one in 10 is Chinese.

For Family Exclusion Orders, 81 per cent of them have been issued to males, with 95 per cent of those barred being Chinese. For Self-Exclusion Orders, 78 per cent of them have been issued to males, with 92 per cent of those barred being Chinese.

Asked if employers of foreign workers could apply for their employees to be banned from the casinos, Dr Balakrishnan said exclusion will remain voluntary for this group.

Source: Channel News Asia


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