Singapore is viewed to be a country with the best business environments. This is justifiable by the presence of various global companies. For instance, today, Singapore is home to over 7,000 conglomerates (Singapore Tourism Board 2013). According to Wu and Chen (2015), the international corporations seek for business opportunities in a cost-efficient environment, and Singapore seems to meet this expectation by emerging to be an enterprise friendly country. The Singapore government has taken the initial steps to assist businesses succeed (Singapore Tourism Board 2013). To this effect, the political and legal environment has facilitated the success of Marina Bay Sands. Therefore, the paper analyses the legal and political factors that have defined the destiny of casino industry.
Marina Bay Sands is one of the most successful casino and hospitality brand in Singapore. Las Vegas Sands Corp owns Marina Bay Sands, Casino that operates in Singapore as the most recent company’s portfolio. Marina Bay Sands is the second largest casino in Singapore.
These factors are the most important factors that define the operations of businesses in any environment. The legal and political forces are critical in macro-environment as they can pose threats and opportunities to companies (Rajah & Tann n.d). The political forces are founded on government system, government policy and diplomatic events while legal factors consider policies, legislations, and regulations. Businesses must understand these factors so that they can operate comfortably and avoid the adverse effects that can befall them.
Singapore has proved to a stable country politically. Since the 1965 independence, the ruling party, The People’s Action Party, has incessantly advocated for the political stability as evidence in the smooth general elections (Factiva 2015). Indeed, in the entire region, Singapore is the most stable casino operating country. For example, South Korea, North Korea and Southern Thailand have experienced unrest, uneasy relationships, and terrorist attacks that threaten business activities. Singapore, however, enjoys good political relationships with various countries. With the single political party since the independence, it has been possible for the country to realize continuity in government policy thus attracting more foreign investments. With the support of stable government, businesses have found it easy to operate smoothly (Lee Kuan Yew 2014). Without a doubt, a stable government creates a favourable business environment that many investors would capitalize.
The Singaporean government is a bureaucratic republic but embraces a democratic procedure. As a social democratic republic, the government seems adopt systems based on the people’s opinions and feedbacks. In fact, the legislation process is critical in adopting business policies. Some policies that the government adopts are also socialism-based such as the public owned housing system and free education system (Factiva 2015). The government-controlled policies dominate the local economics and real estate. Indisputably, Singapore is a strong advocate of anti-corruption policies, and in fact, it has adopted stringent anti-corruption policies within its ranks. The move has attracted foreign investors who are looking forward to a business environment that embraces transparency and the rule of law. Among the Asian countries, Singapore is the cleanest republic regarding corruption (Loo & Phua 2016). The World Bank has also recognized the positive governance indicators thus ranking it highly based on government effectiveness, corruption control, and the rule of law (Singapore Tourism Board 2013). The country, however, ranks poorly in terms of human rights and political openness.
The Singaporean government is friendly to nearly every country in the region. It has played a neutral role in the major political realignment experienced in the region. For instance, Singapore is never at war with Taiwan, China, North Korea, or South Korea thus makes it the best destination for various foreign investors (Loo & Phua 2016). Most Western countries have found Singapore the safest bet in the region thus promote positive engagement for the benefit of their citizens.
The legal environment in Singapore is pro-business because it ensures the foreign investors experience smooth running of their businesses. For instance, the country’s dollar remains internationalized thus makes insignificant stringent regulations to disrupt the domestic currency (Rajah & Tann n.d). Recently, the country experienced a legislative scene where government agencies introduced appropriate gambling laws that addressed various social concerns. To this effect, any company operating a gambling enterprise must adhere to these laws. The gambling companies have responded by working together to adopt gambling legislations (Gallezo-Estaura 2012). The move has ensured that the gambling issues raised by various stakeholders are addressed. Therefore, through different government bodies or agencies, the authority has implemented various gambling laws to help address the challenges experienced in the society.
The Singaporean government needs to review its online gaming so that it can protect the vulnerable groups such as gambling addicts and juveniles as explained by Tan, Singh, Fen, Yee, and Chik (2010). Through the Gambling Suppression Unit, the Australian online casinos should enforce the law by making the fair gaming process. Marina Bay Sands, Casino should be aware of these developments, as criminal elements seem to penetrate the industry through the online gaming platform. According to Singapore (2015), Marina Bay Sands, Casino must be informed about the regulatory and legal regimes that are regulated by two principal methods. The anti-gambling statutes provide an exemptions opportunity for the company to thrive in the market. It has become important for the government to enforce gaming debts based on the special interests. As provided in the Civil Law Act (Cap 43), the agreements and contracts were wagered as void (Keng & Hong 2005).
Singapore has adopted the Casino Control Act in 2013 to regulate the gaming operations (PWC 2015). The Casino Regulatory Authority supervises, regulates, and licenses all casinos in Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew (2014) holds that Singapore experienced the worst laundering problems that require control. The country also boasts of the best tax regime that requires every company to conduct tax payment monthly. The Casino Control Act is meant to establish responsible gaming. This policy ensures that people below 21 years to participate in the gambling or casino activities. According to this policy, people who are 21 years are minors and have to be denied entry into any casino premises (Casino Regulatory Authority 2014). The responsible gaming emphasized on the handling all the gaming problems.
Singapore has established the best regulatory structure to enhance business operations. For instance, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MIT), it has made the country to be the best global city of innovation, enterprise and talent. The ministry intends to promote activities that create jobs and economic growth. SPRING Singapore is the legitimate agency that enhances growth of innovative companies by creating a competitive business environment. The Singaporean government adopted the Casino Control Act after the parliament amended the law (Gallezo-Estaura 2012). The issue that emerged was the inability of the law to regulate the online casinos. The government has taken the initiative “to review the regulatory framework and social safeguards” relating to the non-casino gambling (Gallezo-Estaura 2012, par. 1).
Today, the government is using the Common Gaming Houses Act and the Betting Act to govern the gambling sector (Loo & Phua 2016). This principle statute has failed to handle the online gaming issues thus calling the government to expand its statute to enforce the policy to cover the online gaming beyond the overseas gambling sites (Tan et al. 2010).
MBS, Casino has the opportunity to benefit from the political and legal factors. In most cases, the government uses these factors to create favourable business environment that companies can compete fairly (Singapore 2015). Through the fair and competitive business environment, the Singaporean government has established statutes to promote the gaming industry. Political factors focuses on tax laws, political stability, government systems, and policies. Through proper political forces, Singapore has remained the best destination for foreign investors. MBS has considered the political stability to invest in the country. The pro-business policies have also attracted new investors into the Singaporean market. However, the lack of openness in governance and lack of human rights protection is threat to the business activities. These factors must be reviewed to ensure the country remains ahead of its competitors.
With the Singaporean government introducing new business guidelines, the integrated resort or casino must respond by adopting new operations. This is because; the company will find it tricky to comply with these requirements. The company have to develop strategies that are pro-government procedures and policies. The aspects of social responsibilities and good public awareness are essential for the success of the organization. The business has to enforce such social factors to succeed in the casino industry. For instance, the government has compelled casino companies to establish gambling counselling centres.
Additionally, the integrated resorts and casinos should act swift in addressing the illegal gambling-related crimes experienced in Singapore. The casino operators should work with the government and other stakeholders to establish an official legislation to address the gambling issues in the country. The integrated resort management must cooperate with relevant authorities to reduce the gambling crimes. These collaborative efforts are beneficial to the integrated resorts and government in the long-term.
Although the company has reported significant success in the past, it is critical for the company to integrate with the entertainment and tourism activities to realize a combined effect such as being attractive to potential tourists. This organization should use the relevant failures such as Macau to increase visitors (Loo & Phua 2016). For a sustainable development, Las Vegas Casino should continue to build its event and entertainment brands based on data by working with the comedy stars or celebrities to improve its success. The company should also intensify its marketing activities by using the new social media including Twitter, Google +, Facebook, and YouTube. This will ensure that the business strengthen its brand image.
Casino Regulatory Authority. (2014) Mission, vision and values, August 13 (available at https://www.cra.gov.sg/cra/mission-vision-and-values.aspx/75)
Factiva. (2015) Las Vegas Sands Corp, (available at https://www.global-factiva-com.ezpl.lib.sp.edu.sg/pcs/default.aspx)
Gallezo-Estaura, K. (2012) ‘What does Singapore law say about online gambling?’ Business Review, December 12. (available at https://sbr.com.sg/professional-serviceslegal/exclusive/what-does-singapore-law-say-about-online-gambling)
Keng, L.K. & Hong, S.K. (2005) ‘In the name of gaming: taking a chance on the law’, Feature, February 5. (available at https://www.lawgazette.com.sg/2005-2/Feb05-feature1.htm)
Lee Kuan Yew. (2014) ‘Managing the sin in Singapore’s Casinos’, School of Public Policy, Aug (available at https://lkyspp.nus.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/20140814-Managing-the-Sin-in-Singapores-Casinos.pdf)
Loo, J.M. & Phua, K.L. (2016) ‘Gambling participation and policies in Malaysia’, Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, vol. 6, no. 1, p. 3.
PWC. (2015) Global gaming industry regulatory frameworks, February. (available at https://www.pwc.com/mx/es/knowledge-center/archivo/2015-03-kc-global-gaming-industry-regulatory-frameworks.pdf)
Rajah & Tann. (n.d) ‘Gaming’, Lawyers Who Know Asia. (available at https://sg.rajahtannasia.com/our-work/practices/gaming)
Singapore Tourism Board. (2013) Tourism sector performance, (available at https://www.stb.gov.sg/statistics-and-market-insights/marketstatistics/tourism%20sector%20performance%20q4%202013_final8.pdf)
Singapore, M. (2015) ‘Marina Bay Sands- Singapore 5 star luxury hotel,’ Marinabaysands.com, (available at https://www.marinabaysands.com.com/hotel.html)
Tan, J.A., Singh, A., Fen, L.Y., Yee, W.W., & Chik, W. (2010) ‘Report on the law reform committee on online gaming and Singapore’, Singapore Academy of Law: Law Reform Committee, July. (available at https://www.sal.org.sg/Lists/Law%20Reform%20Committee%20Reports/Attachments/32/LRC%20Report%20Online%20Gaming%20Singapore(Jul2010).pdf)
Wu, S-T., & Chen, Y-S. (2015) ‘The social, economic, and environmental impacts of casino gambling on the residents of Macau and Singapore’, Tourism Management, vol. 48, pp. 285-298.
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