21 February 2018

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04/13/2013 SINGAPORE

More and more Chinese gamblers do not pay their debts in Singapore

In just three years, Singapore casinos raked in almost as much as Las Vegas, but profits are threatened by high-flying Chinese gamblers who skip on paying debts, untouched by their own government back home.

Singapore (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Many Chinese gamblers skip Singapore without paying their debts. Gambling in the People's Republic of China (PRC) is illegal, except in Macao, one of the PRC's special administrative regions, which has more than 30 casinos.

Singapore casinos, like those elsewhere in the world, give high rollers hefty lines of credit but more and more gamblers are running away from the Asian city-state without paying their bill.

If in Macau, debt collection is in the hands of groups linked to Chinese organised crime, only three debt collection agencies operate in Singapore, where they are heavily regulated and must renew their licences each year.

Reuters recently reported, citing local sources, that Resorts World one of the two casinos in Singapore, sued Chinese gambler Kuok Sio Kun, 46, in Singapore for not paying S.2 million (US$ 1.8 million) in debts. After its letter for payment went unanswered for months, the casino hired a Macau-based law firm to sue the woman.

"I have made all reasonable efforts and used all due means in my power to serve the court documents on the defendant, but have not been able to do so," the Macau lawyer said in the documents.

Singapore does not have reciprocal enforcement of judgments with China, except for Hong Kong. This means that even if a casino obtains a judgment in a Singapore court, it also has to sue the gambler in China.

"If there is a lot of gambling debt and the gambler is in China now, usually the casinos can hardly get any co-operation from the Chinese government to go after them because gambling is illegal in China," said Huang Jing, director at the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore.

Three years after Singapore allowed casinos to open, its two casinos, the Genting Group's Resorts World Sentosa and the Las Vegas Sands' Marina Bay Sands, pulled in an estimated combined gross gaming revenue of about US$ 5.9 billion last year, just below the US$ 6.2 billion earned by dozens of casinos on the Las Vegas strip.

In Macau, more than 30 casinos  brought in US billion in gaming revenue last year. 


See also

24/02/2010 SINGAPORE
Singapore’s new casino draws large crowds of visitors and gamblers
Gambling was banned in the city-state until recently. In the first week, 149,000 people visit the new resort. Singapore authorities hope it will revive local tourism. Hotels, luxury shops and the world’s largest oceanarium are included in the project. Revenues are expected to run in the billions.

14/01/2009 CHINA – MACAU – TAIWAN
Macau casinos in crisis hoping for mainland gamblers
Beijing tightened entry restrictions to Macau in the last few months, but the enclave’s real problem is the drop in VIP gamblers. Taiwan meanwhile plans casinos for its outlying islands.

14/01/2005 CHINA
Beijing to crack down on gambling
Illegal gambling is valued € 60 billion. The government is set to launch a campaign against it.

27/10/2012 LAOS-CHINA
Gambling, the million dollar bet for Vientiane and Chinese companies
The Laotian government encourages Beijing companies’ investment, resulting in "wild development". Frequented mostly by foreigners, casinos offer million dollar returns and fuel tourism. Crime alarm related to money laundering, drug trafficking and prostitution.

14/07/2010 SINGAPORE
Singapore tops the world with record growth rate
Led by tourism (casino resorts) and exports, the city-state’s economy surges 18.1 per cent in the first half of the year. Markets are optimistic but authorities remain cautious.

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