Viva Las Singapore

Casinos. Where dreams of becoming an overnight millionaire are made – and mortgage payments are broken. The house always wins. But it doesn’t seem that way, by design. The poker-faced dealers hardly look like sharks and the only people having a good time it seems, are the customers. Who would know their life savings were disappearing down the little black hole in the corner of the roulette table?

Casinos are glamorized, popularised and highly addictive. In America alone, problem gambling affects more than 15 million people. And the economics of it all? Well according to PriceWaterHouse Coopers, the global casino industry is predicted to be worth $120 billion in 2011, up from $100 billion in 2007.

And the Asia Pacific region is leading the growth, growing at a rate of 15 per cent per year, compared to 2 per cent growth in Europe and 7 per cent in the US.

The US is the top, making up $58 billion of world casino revenues, followed by $41.2 billion in Asia Pacific, $16.5 billion in Europe, $4 billion in Canada and $594 million in Latin America.

Now, when it comes to top casino markets, Macau leads the way with 33 casinos raking in $28.4 billion. Las Vegas is behind with $10 billion and in third place, the latest addition to the casino industry: Singapore with $5.5 billion. And the Lion City is set to overtake Las Vegas for the No.2 spot.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands (LVS), the operator of the Palazzo and Venetian resorts, are down 1% this week on news Singapore’s tourism authority will block the company from selling the shopping mall at its casino in the country until after March 2017. The statement from the tourism authority comes just a week after Las Vegas Sands said it was hoping to sell the mall within two or three years for about $4 billion to recoup some of its investment in the property, Reuters reported.

Read the FULL STORY: The House Always Wins: World Casino Takings

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