Thursday, April 21, 2005

I am being discriminated in my own country

Oh wait, I have more to say. I was just posting on the forums about how wonderful my experience at Malaysia's Genting Highlands was a few years ago. The casino was BIG! Everything glittered, the clanking of the coins, the ecstacy of the gamblers throwing the dice, the dizziness of it all. It was a fantastic experience. I believe I spent $5 playing slot machines. I lost it all in a few minutes. But it was great! But now, I can't do this in Singapore's casinos anymore. There'll be a $100 entry fee! So, to experience the same thing like I did in Genting, I'd have to fork out $105! What on earth is going on here?! I don't think foreigners need to pay the entry fee. I believe a casino should be an equal-opportunity personal wealth depreciator. Everyone should have a fair go at emptying their pockets. I'm not trying to be sarcastic here; I really feel this is a matter of principle. What? The government thinks we the citizens are not mature enough to gamble responsibly, but foreigners are more mature to do the same?! Don't you think this is insulting? Of course it is! And it makes me angry! Grrr... From the point of view of 'letting people being exposed to temptation', I think there's something hypocritical going on too. We want to shield our citizens from the casino, but we're willing to let foreigners gamble away their money? Isn't that... bad behaviour? Why are we treating foreigners in such a mean way? Ahhh! Nothing's going right...

7 comments:

Ali said...

Hey I don't mind about letting foriegners gamble away all their money. As long as I can get in for free...

jeffyen said...

You are sooo mean, Alison! May you lose some money at Burswood! LOL

Huichieh said...

Trackback: From a Singapore Angle: Blogosphere reactions to the Casino/Integrated Resort decision 2005.

VIV said...

Jeff, i think the $100 caveat is just to placate the moralists/ anti-casino camp in SingaPore. It also sends the message: "If u can't afford the entrance fee, we probably don't need your business."
And yes! Sadly, they don't believe your $5 in the slot machines is worth their time =P

On the other hand, I think the casino operators -whoever it will be- if they have any smarts, will ABSORB this $100 fee by offering customers a corresponding $100 worth of complimentary chips.

jeffyen said...

You may be right, they have really nothing to lose by doing that.

But I still have something to lose! I still have to pay $105! Genting, or bust!

quetelet said...

The key point about the casino is to trap foreign dollars on our shores =) The $100 serves as a cut-off for the vast majority of low- and middle-income earners, and deters casual or impulse gambling. It has to be really high (which incurs political wrath)...if it's only moderately high, then it might backfire when locals would instead gamble more heavily since they've paid the high $.

Casinos are black holes in most places. The only stuff we're getting out of it (from a govt standpoint) are the taxes (which are already very low, I think only 5% vs 30-40% elsewhere) - this only works if we don't gamble our local $ away, and additionally incur the social costs (increased police force, psychological help, lost work productivity, etc).

But probably that's where we'll go. The entry fees will probably be lowered, in favour of the 'locals are mature' argument, entirely rejecting models of addiction - casinos are very slick at this, with tons of behavioural economists and statisticians at their beck and call :) Just my devil's advocate take on this.

jeffyen said...

I've thought that the other objective would be to trap local dollars locally, instead of being spent overseas.

Anyway, who knows what's going to happen eventually. Fingers crossed...:)