Weighing the economic benefit of the IRs

Singapore has reaped the benefits in the two years since Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) and Marina Bay Sands (MBS) opened, but the question of social costs remains. 

According to the TODAY newspaper, a Ministry of Trade and Industry spokesperson said it is estimated that the integrated resorts or IRs currently contribute about 1.5 to 2% of Singapore's gross domestic product. 

The spokesperson added the presence of the IRs also supports more than 40,000 jobs throughout the economy. 

Close to three-quarters of RWS' 13,000 employees are Singaporeans and they take up 8 in 10 of its PME positions. 

For MBS, Singaporeans make up more than three-fifths of the 9,400 full time staff on its payroll. 

Member of Parliament Seah Kian Peng, who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee for Social and Family Development, stressed that economic benefits are just one part of the equation. 

He said social costs need to be continually monitored. 

He added that the non-casino business has created a lot of value, and if it can create jobs without the ills, then more of that should be brought in.