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The Early Days: Pre-Colonial Era and Japanese Occupation

Describe about the Gambling in Singapore for Past and Present.

The essay is going to present itself as a fruitful discussion on the crucial topic of Gambling industry of Singapore in both the pre-colonial and post-colonial context. The goal of this discourse is therefore to identify and thereafter evaluate the impact of this particular activity on social and economic aspects of Singapore. The concept of such a misanthropic facet in the Singaporean background appeared through the addiction of the citizens of this particular territory of South east Asia. In the form of adverse consequence of this unconventional habit, the society specifically the impoverished one declined to a more vulgar category and established a community that became detrimental for the youth section of the domain.[1] In the contrary, the whole concept of Gambling is considered to foster the economic growth of Singapore. Hence, the discussion investigates whether Gambling in Singapore should be blamed or cherished in terms of economic advances.

The gambling disorder or addiction among the Singaporean inhabitants has been provoked through the greed for money of the coloniser William Farquhar for whom gambling appeared to be the fruitful opportunity to maximise the revenue margin. The sudden procurement of easy access for licences for gambling activities have been the result of the particular misdeed done by William Farquhar, who have been left by Coloniser Raffles to take care of the Singaporean colony.[2] However, it is fortunate that the easy access for gambling licenses ceased with the return of Raffles with the optimization of the legal regulation of for forbidding all the gambling activities and cockpits and for the suppression of the gaming activities in the nation. However, the unavoidable addiction of gambling and gaming for money has been stimulated by the consumption of opium in a huge amount, which only has resulted in poverty, and penniless death of the working class of the society.

However, instead of having a legal framework for prohibiting the gambling activity by Raffles started to lose its power from the 19th century as it has been found lately that most of the gambling parliaments are still running successfully.    Nevertheless, the giant head money lenders and several secret societies have led the situation. It is however understandable that Gambling flourished all over Singapore and set its foot in the pre-colonial era though it has found its international success only in the postcolonial forefront. Nevertheless, it should be marked that the whole story of Gambling has been the started with the inauguration of sporting club by Henry Macleod Read in the year 1819. It is considered the first sporting club that introduced horseracing activity with a prize money of $150. On the contrary, to this, gambling or the whole concept of playing for money became accessible for the general crowd of Singapore in the year 1960. However, the official opening of gambling for the Singaporeans had been inaugurated by the reconstruction of the horseracing club that has been named as a turf club with a broader premise to play.[3]

Post-Colonial Era: Rise of Legal and Illegal Gambling

It is a fact worth astonishing that in the pre-colonised zone of gambling, the occurrence of the public opening for playing for money has been a successful venture as initially it captured a huge number of audiences from the society. For example, the turf club used to have more than 50,000 audiences in its grandstands in the weekends on regular basis. Most significant to mark is that the smooth persuasion of Gambling has been fuelled up during the Second World War through the hands of the Japanese. The Japanese occupation introduced the lottery scheme called Konan Saiken, which gained immense response from the crowd of Singapore and acquired a bulky amount of revenue in the year 1942, as each ticket for a price of $50,000 has been only $1.[4]

Nonetheless, the in the years during the post war period, the social portrait of gambling found itself surrounded with the elite class of Singapore and specifically the British colonial individuals.[5] However, the Gambling world of Singapore has not only been the enriched with the British upper class as the main the illegal mode of gambling started to boom through the support of the underworld trials. Nevertheless, the illegal activity in terms of Gambling is found to have a terrible turns of event as the activity has been recognized to be inevitably associated with asocial and objectionable business of prostitution and trade of drugs. Singapore constitutes a multi ethnic population that has fostered the boom of gambling in the nation. However, considering the increasing rate of gambling and other associated activities, the Pools Private Limited of Singapore has been organized to handle growing issues in illegal gambling. The private limited became the only official and legal operator and proprietor o            f lottery in Singapore. The company brought in a comparatively new horizon for the social picture of gambling as the launch of Toto – a kind of lottery game by the company gained wide success. [6]

The postcolonial ground for gambling became stronger with this private limited company with their venture with The Singapore Sweep in the year 1969. The company specifically selected the small booths to be the distribution channel for the tickets, which used to cost no more than $1 for each.[7] The gambling activity associated with lotteries continued its success through further business ventures of betting games like 4D, which has proved successful in both Singapore and Malaysia. Nonetheless, the success of lottery game started to minimise with the rise of legal activity of football rating. The occurrence of such event is again brought by the endeavour made by Singapore Pool who supported and participated actively to establish the local football league. The initial purpose has been to stop the growing illegal activities of football betting that have been continuing from the 19th century. However, a fact can be argued that whether these whole activities of formulating various legalised gambling alternatives have been proving applicable to stabilise the economic background of Singapore or silently decreasing the moral and sociable values of the society.

Government Regulations and Legalization of Gambling

It is probably unfortunate for the economic aspect of Singapore that the whole aspect of gaming or in other words gambling is gradually losing its place. On the other hand, Casinos or the gambling parlours used to be considered as the economic lifeline of Singapore. It is because Singapore’s first casino which was inaugurated in the year 2010 has appeared to be Asia’s one of the leading gambling capital and it worth almost $3.57 dollar.[8] The reason to call gambling to be an economy booster for Singapore is that it became a central facet of attraction for the international tourist. The prolonged activity and platform of gambling has helped to form a diversified socio-cultural background along with a diverse economy. It can be argued that Singapore’s anticipation to emerge as the best holiday destination for gambling is may be futile as the gambling revenue is found to be felling on a rapid manner over past few years.[9] It seems to be true, as the gaming has decreased by 16% from last year. Additionally, levies restriction is another constraint that is holding the Casino owners back from helping locals to make up the sudden shortfall.[10]

In this context, it is important to note that government made legislative regulations have always served to restrict the particular activities of gaming for money. The idea of restoring gambling which was supposedly banned in the year       1829 has never been considered until Orfeur Cavenagh – the governor of that time regarded gambling to be a legal activity in the year 1861.[11] It is because the government found immense shortage of female inhabitant, which was being an issue to raise funds for incentive schemes for Chinese immigrants. Therefore, here it is understandable that Gambling has been granted as an essential tool for the social and economic boom in Singapore. In the present context, the aspect is again proving to be a fruitful platform for financial growth according to the success of Singapore Pools which has revealed that they obtains around $4 billion dollar every year in form of turnover. [12]

The entire discussion brings out two contradictory views as one side upholds that gambling is playing as an economy booster for Singapore whereas the other one depicts that gambling is leading to a degenerated society. As per the discussion, gambling in the soil of Singapore had been imported in the pre-war context and flourished in a wide range during and after British colonization. However, the assignment indicates that considering the positive sides of gambling which is to increase the economic growth Singapore possesses one legalised giant head named Singapore Pools association that controls and optimizes all the gambling oriented activities. Nevertheless, as per the illustration above, government of Singapore has always tried to restrict the illegal activity of gambling which has also become a tourist attraction in Singapore.

References

"Newspaper Article - STRICTER LAW TO SUPPRESS GAMING". 2016. Eresources.Nlb.Gov.Sg. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19390527-1.2.81.aspx.

"The Big Read: Once A Money Spinner, Can Singapore’S Casinos Beat The Odds?". 2016.Todayonline. https://www.todayonline.com/business/once-money-spinner-can-singapores-casinos-beat-odds.

Chan, Chi Chuen, William Wai Lim Li, and Eugene Chung Ip Leung. "The History of Gambling in Hong Kong and Macao." In Problem Gambling in Hong Kong and Macao, pp. 1-36. Springer Singapore, 2016.

Goh, Esther CL, Vincent Ng, and Brenda SA Yeoh. "The family exclusion order as a harm-minimisation measure for casino gambling: the case of Singapore." International Gambling Studies (2016): 1-18.

Hodgins, David C., and Nancy M. Petry. "The world of gambling: the National Gambling Experiences series." Addiction 111, no. 9 (2016): 1516-1518.

Hodgins, David C., and Nancy M. Petry. "The world of gambling: the National Gambling Experiences series." Addiction 111, no. 9 (2016): 1516-1518.

Loh, Kah Seng. "Mental Illness in Singapore: A History of a Colony, Port City, and Coolie Town." East Asian Science, Technology and Society 10, no. 2 (2016): 121-140.

Mathews, Mathew, and Rachel Volberg. "Impact of problem gambling on financial, emotional and social well-being of Singaporean families."International Gambling Studies 13, no. 1 (2013): 127-140.

Schwartz, David G. "Roll the bones: The history of gambling." (2013): 1.

Wee, Lionel. "Neoliberalism and the regulation of consumers: legalizing casinos in Singapore." Critical Discourse Studies 9, no. 1 (2012): 15-27.

Winslow, Munidasa, Christopher Cheok, and Mythily Subramaniam. "Gambling in Singapore: An overview of history, research, treatment and policy." Addiction 110, no. 9 (2015): 1383-1387.  

Wu, Shou-Tsung, and Yeong-Shyang Chen. "The social, economic, and environmental impacts of casino gambling on the residents of Macau and Singapore." Tourism Management 48 (2015): 285-298.

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