A Tale of Two Asian Cities

Danny Ng

Abstract


For the greater part of the 20th century the gaming sector in Macau was monopolised by a single organisation; Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau (STDM). This changed in 2002 when the Special Administrative Regional (SAR) government liberalised the gaming sector to international casino operators. Only three years later (2005), Singapore joined the Asian casino landscape by passing a constitution amendment allowing the establishment of a gaming sector on the island nation. This was a bold step by the Singaporean government after decades of explicitly rejecting the gaming sector. Each government administration has different reason for opening up their gaming sector, but they all share a common objective: the lucrative gaming tax for state coffers and an increase in the size of the economy. The growth of the gaming sector is much determined by the political, policy, economic and societal circumstances both local and global. The objective of this paper is to examine the differences in terms of gambling governance in both Macau and Singapore. The influence these differences in governance have on the growth of the gaming sector and the national economy will be the primary focus. The paper will use a comparative method to understand how the casino operators can better devise strategies to cope with any possible changes to the governance environment. The second part of this paper will look at how Macau can diversify its economy by leveraging its geographical position. Keywords: casino, policies, governance, integration, economic .