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Marina Bay Sands @ Singapore

This year I am travelling less for work but few weeks ago I was sent to Broadcast Asia in Singapore. In a previous post I already explained my views about Singapore (I do not like it too much) and, don’t worry, I am not going to bore you with my work stuff :)

Singapore is doing really well, just check this article from AsiaRed: “Singaporeans can be proud of having more millionaires than Switzerland or Persic Gulf monarchies” (15% of the population are millionares!)

These rich guys needs some fun in this restrictive country! So Singaporean government allowed the development of Marina Bay Sands, that is billed as the world’s most expensive standalone casino property at S$8 billion (around USD $6.4 billion). The grand opening took place on February 17th 2011 (although partial opening already happened around mid 2010). Now Singapore Bay looks like that, with Marina Bay Sands on the left side (click for a larger image on a new window)

Nice eh? :)

The most iconic part of Marina Bay Sands is the Sky Park (this thing on top, at the 57th floor, of the 3 buildings at the left of the picture). The structure is massive stretching longer than the Eiffel tower laid down and is has a park, bars, discos and one of the most impressive swimming pools on earth. You obviously get a nice view of the rest of Singapore too.

You need to pay to get up there (S$20 for an adult) or you can get in for free if you stay at the hotel. I was lucky to meet with a friend who was staying there, so I could go for free :).

I didn’t have a camera with me so I decided to take few nice pictures from internet.

Building this massive resort was not an extremely complicated project. At the plane back to Taipei I could enjoy a TV show about how it was build. Here you have the promo (2 min) :)

If you want to see the whole show (around 60 min), I prepared a YouTube playlist.

So where is the trick to make this a viable business? :) … it is theSingapore Casino! stupid. In such a regulated country gambling/betting was not allowed before this casino opened and even now the Singaporeans (and permanent residents) need to pay S$100 to enter (valid for 24h). The government want to minimize gambling/betting problems with local population but still want all the tourists (with a foreign passport you get in for free) to go there and lose some money. I went inside and wandered around for 30 minutes. I am not a gambler at all and if you add some mathematical/statistics knowledge from my degree to the mix… casinos are not my place, I get kind of depressed to see all the money wasted there that could be used for much better purposes somewhere else. Compared to other casinos I’ve visited in my life, Singapore Casino has a lot of very simple games aimed at the least expert players.

Asians are HUGE gamblers and Singapore (with only two casinos!) will overtake Las Vegas on the ranking of biggest casino markets: #1-Macau, #2-Singapore,#3-Las Vegas. Singapore raked in US$5.1 billion in gaming revenue on 2010 and could bring in up to US$6.4 billion this year, so the owners of Marina Bay Sands will recover their investment very quickly. Gambling revenue in Macau, the world’s most lucrative gambling market, hit US$23.5 billion on 2010.

No more bets!

1 Comment

    Realment, fantàstic. Has tingut una gran oportunitat en poder-ho admirar en directe personalment