Singapore Tops Vegas Casinos

Singapore is regarded as Asia’s new gambling Mecca of the world and its thousands of miles from Las Vegas.

The city boasts two colossal new casinos the Resorts World Sentosa and the Marina Bay Sands.  Singapore offers a touch of exclusivity than your normal run-of-the-mill “hustle and bustle” of Vegas casinos and other exotic gambling destinations.  One thing a stranger will note is the absence of blinking lights, elegant drinks and various other features that make Vegas a fascinating location for many guests.  Visitors will come across an array of family-friendly activities and shopping, buildings that are architectural marvels and some that are still under construction.

Authoritarian lawmakers of the city-state have promised to attract an international elite clientele presenting a different gambling style that would be devoid of the social ills normally associated with it.  The challenge that confronts them is to keep out criminals and problem gamblers in future.  To date visitor numbers have indicated that there’s a market for your more “refined” gambler, therefore offering a more passive gaming atmosphere and this is the vision Singaporean leaders hope to see unfold.

Unlike in Vegas, which offer drinks to gamblers on the house, receiving a cocktail in a Singapore casino is unheard of.  Players will note that drinks are not served to them whilst they’re gambling be it at blackjack tables in the $4.4 billion Resorts World Sentosa complex once request for a cold beer might just fall on deaf ears.  A beer will cost you five Singapore dollars (US$3.83).  All is not doom and gloom free drinks are offered to high rollers.

“Dimitri from France a recent visitor to thecasinosaid it’s a “cleaner version” of a normal casino and complained about the lack of free cocktails normally offered to patrons.”I don’t think it’s possible to have a splendid casino in a city like Singapore.”

On the contrary the casino was chock-a-block with gamblers including many Chinese, Malaysian and other Asian gamblers, who soon became irritated since most Western expatriates where more concerned about receiving free booze that rolling the dice.  With regard to receiving free alcohol the same rule applies in Macau, Asia’s other gaming capital which is indicative on how the West’s gambling perceptions differ from that in Asia.

Singapore’s government is rather reluctant to levy an extra s$100 for locals to enter and make it a habit to scrutinise their IDs. A westerner will notice that unlike casinos in the West the Resorts World Sentosa is family orientated; this includes a Universal Studios theme park, top-notch restaurants, plenty shops, high-end airport duty free zones like Ralp Lauren and Tumi.

The decor in itself of the casino is not as elaborate and styled as the flash and buzz of a typical Vegas casino floor. Getting a beer might be an arduous task; gamblers are permitted to help themselves to coffee, tea and bottled water – on the House!

“In essence the collective theme of the Resorts World Sentosa is to foster an environment that the entire family can indulge in and this might not be as farfetched since other countries or regions are starting to adopt it,” said Robin Goh, associate director of communications. “Our aim is to alter the tourism blueprint for Singapore and Southeast Asia in its entirety.”

The Marina Bay Sands, Singapore’s the city’s other mega-casino has a distinct James Bond feel to it. The extravagant lobby features a musical quartet, modern art murals, and luxurious dining areas.

The casino is a feast to the eye, with a gaming hall whose ceilings are several stories high.  Visitors at the casino complain that the casino’s plan is too open and it drains some of the life from the gaming areas.  In comparison to other world class casinos it lacks the atmosphere of shouting when jackpots are won, high-fiving and flashing lights which is the pulse of Vegas.

In conclusion, the Marina Bay’s casino feels more like an arena or airport arrival hall.  For all their civility and poshness one thing these casinos lack is the ambience that is normally found at world class casinos – VIVA Las Vegas!



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