Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bigger Progress Packages

Progress PackageI cannot but marvel at the plans that Las Vegas Sands has submitted in their winning bid for the Singapore Integrated Resort for the Marina Bay area. It is indeed exciting, with a good mix of purpose-built facilities for meetings and conferences, culture and science, guests facilitities and of course, the obligatory gambling den which is one of the raison de'tre of the project in the first place, in spite of protestation to the contrary from certain quarters.

Yet the choice of Sands is a surprise to many punters and analysts alike, though I am sure everyone that was involved in the selection is an expert in his own field and gave expert opinion to that effect. Building the place should be a piece of cake, given Singapore's track record. But whether the place will become successful in the long run remains to be seen. Singapore has no track record of operating a mega-gambling den, you see, unless you view the island-wide government operated 4-D and soccer betting operations as one.

How will Suntec City be affected by this development in the years to come? How will the new downtown pan out? I suppose this is a dream project for any and all civil architects and engineers. Let's just hope that they won't be building razor thin walls and noisy pipes all over to adversely affect gamblers' need for concentration. I am sure Sands has higher standards than our HDB of late.

This is a historic, era setting moment. Let this blog bear testimony to this event, Friday, 26 May 2006 when the choice of Sands to build the first IR is first announced. It may also be the beginning of the end of small time 4-D and soccer gambling, though punters may not agree. Yet gamblers must set their sights, and their bets higher so that Sands and its partners (including the Government?) rake in the money, which is the prime reason for this multi-billion dollar project. Let us, the common non-gambling folk look forward to ever bigger Progress Packages that will arise from the obscene moneys that the government will rake in in various forms of taxes from the building and operation of this newest wonder of Singapore.

Given that the gambling facilities are designed primarily for foreigners, they should apply for Permanent Gambling Resident (PGR) status so long as they promise to gamble at the IR once every week, at least. PGR has its privileges.

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