Vangelynn JOMEC Blog


The decision of the UK government to run first super-casino in the Manchester has created a fierce dispute in the government and within the various communities.

Before I came to the UK, the Singapore government had also decided to legalise casino gambling to stimulate its stagnant economy.An unprecedented public debate had been sparked as a result of this legalisation in Singapore: about 30,000 people signed a petition to oppose the decision. Most argued that the possible social costs for such gambling in a small island country like Singapore would probably outweigh the economic benefits.

Personally I think, there is substantial economic revenue being created directly and indirectly from this decision. Through the development of casinos, gambling can bring a pleasurable experience to the individual who gambles through its entertainment value. Furthermore, the gambling industry offers significant economic gains, such as the stimulation of local or foreign investment and tourism development.

However, it is still difficult to reduce the social stigma of gambling. Gambling has been illegal in most cultures throughout much of history because the dominant moral, religious and political opinion has been that gambling is immoral. Therefore, it ought to be banned because it will distract some people from their social duties and undermine the productivity of the economy.

The proponents of the casino put forward arguments that ignore any negative social effects arising from gambling, and it seems that their case has won – since the decision has been made by the Singapore government to allow casino to be built. The negative impacts, however, are perhaps likely to only emerge gradually – but, like Pandora’s box, it will be almost impossible to put the lid back on.


Financial Times – February 22 2007 


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