Casino cash may inject $1.5 bln into S’pore annually

Nopporn Wong-Anan

Revenues from two new casino-resorts could contribute as much as S$2 billion ($1.47 billion) annually to Singapore’s economy, which is expected by the government to grow by up to 15 percent this year, DBS Bank said on Thursday.

The two resorts have already contributed S$470 million or 0.3 percentage points to gross domestic product (GDP), which grew 17.9 percent in the first half of 2010 from a year earlier, DBS economist Irvin Seah wrote in a report.

“If the GDP contributions by the integrated resorts continue to rise at the same pace going forward, we can expect full-year GDP contributions of about S$2 billion from these projects,” Seah said in the note.

That would translate into adding 0.7 percentage points to GDP for the whole of 2010, he said.

Singapore is counting on the two resorts opened earlier this year by Malaysia’s Genting Bhd and Las Vegas Sands to help fuel tourism and economic growth. It hopes to double visitor arrivals to 17 million by 2015.

In July alone, at least 1 million people visited Singapore, the highest number the city-state ever saw in a month, after seven consecutive months of record monthly visitor arrivals.

“However, the contributions derived from the GDP statistics reflect only the direct impact of the IRs. The overall economic gains to the economy are likely to be significantly larger if the spinoffs to other industries are taken into account,” he said. ($1=1.358 Singapore dollar)

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