Latest: No Casino Promotion Allowed In Singapore!

Posted: November 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

26th Nov 2011  SATURDAY

Latest Breaking News On Singapore Casinos – Writing On The Wall

This is the news –

Singapore authorities have tightened advertising and promotions guidelines for the country’s two casinos to ensure that they do not target the domestic market.

With immediate effect, the scope of the Casino Control (Advertising) Regulations will be expanded to cover promotions.

These refer to membership drives, rewards and loyalty programmes, as well as lucky draws and contests.   (Professional Ground’s comment: this will effectively drive down local patrons interest & frequency to casinos).

Previously, these were not covered under the law.

Three specific incidents prompted authorities to act.

These were: when Resorts World Sentosa provided free shuttle bus services from the heartlands to its casino; when the same operator promoted its Genting Rewards programme at heartland shopping malls and at the Seventh Month Hungry Ghost Festival events; and when Marina Bay Sands started publicising casino winnings on its website.

All such activities have since stopped, but they were sufficient grounds for the authorities to act.

Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Chan Chun Sing, said: “It was very clear that when the casinos were given the licence to operate down here, it was a balance between economic needs and at the same time the social needs.

“The casinos can do whatever they want to promote their growth, but one of the things that we say is that you must never, never target the local population when it comes to promoting the growth. If you want to attract more tourists, we are okay with that. That is part of your job to do that.

“So we will not preclude your growth if you continue to attract foreign tourists but we will not allow them to target the local market in order to expand their growth.”

Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands will now have to seek prior approval from the Community Development, Youth and Sports Ministry for all casino advertising and promotions.

These include interviews and media releases, as well as community sponsorship.

Casino advertising will also now cover merchandising, such as a T-shirt with a picture of a dice, or a mug with a picture of a roulette table.

The authorities have also made clear what is termed as “domestic market”. This includes not just Singapore citizens but also Permanent Residents and foreigners working and living in Singapore.

Operators who break the law will now be slapped with a fine of up to S$100,000.

Industry watchers welcomed the move, saying that any form of casino advertising does have an influence on a gambler and even a non-gambler.

Even the recent publicity surrounding a casino’s dispute with a food stall owner over jackpot winnings is cause for concern.  (Professional Ground’s comment:  See below news report that turned into an “advertisement” for casino win indeed.)

A Reverend Tan said: “A lot of the gamblers said that made a lot of people who never gamble or who are already gambling heavily think that maybe one day, their chance will come also to win that kind of money….”

A survey on the gambling habits of Singaporeans will be released early next year. This will give the government a better sense of the problem of pathological gambling in Singapore.

Meanwhile, Acting MCYS Minister Chan Chun Sing said the government’s next target group will be the frequent gamblers.

The local market (casino goers) will stagnate and even trends downward.

Professional Ground Decoder expert comments:

With this further restriction of casino promotional activities, the domestic market will stagnate.  Casinos will have to seek out overseas markets in order to grow their pie. 

The potential problem is that, Malaysian authority may also follow suit and impose certain restrictive measures on Malaysians especially for Johore State that’s neighbouring Singapore.

 

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