Singapore Casino Development Updates

Las Vegas is traditionally the gambling capital of the world, but these days the face of the casino industry is changing.

“Slot machines are no longer a novelty, and blackjack isn’t a novelty anymore. People aren’t going to fly 2,000 miles just to play nickel slots. What they will do though is they will fly 2,000 miles to have a great experience,” says Dr David Schwartz at the Center for Gaming Research, University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Well this is a great comment and so true as this is what Macau and Singapore will be all about! I am sure that this what Las Vegas Sands has in mind, send US travelers on package tours to visit their Macau and Singapore Integrated Resorts on the one trip.

For the Singapore Casino Sentosa development watchers find below a link that has all the latest news and videos about the three presentations.

Too Many Jobs Not Enough People

We know already Macau is busting at it’s seams. But two recent articles are bringing doom but not gloom. There are just too many jobs but not enough people for those jobs in Macau.

Macao’s booming casino industry is to need at least 50,000 croupiers in 2009, The Macao Post Daily quoted Joao Bosco Cheang Hong Lok, chairman of the Macao Gaming Industry Workers Association, as saying that a large number of residents are keen to become croupiers as the job does not require high level education yet offers “good benefits.” The number of the current croupiers stood at 20,000 or 7 percent of Macao’s labor force.

So this means that Macau needs to train another 30,000 new croupiers by 2009, or about 18% of the labour force!
And then we get this, “There is a structural nightmare awaiting Macau in three to five years unless something is done about the labour situation,” said Barry Brewster, director of human resources management firm Evans and Peck.

“We feel Macau is rapidly assuming the mantle of Las Vegas in every way, not just in gaming but also in the associated industries like entertainment,” said Jeb Rand, of Vegas-based Rand Productions, which stages ice skating shows around the world.

“That means that family entertainment and other diversions will begin coming here as they did in Vegas 20-30 years ago,” added Rand. “It’s a rapidly maturing market.”

But the casino boom has not been good for other parts of the city’s economy.

With a workforce of just 250,000 and most forecasters projecting that the casinos will create at least another 20,000-100,000 jobs over the next 10 years, competition for staff has created a cut-throat labour market.

“Staff retention is a huge problem in Macau,” said Brewster. “Poaching of even low-level personnel, like construction workers, is common and at the level of croupier and dealers, it’s brutal.”

Brewster cited the example of the latest mega-casino, the towering Grand Lisboa. When it opened last month, it was offering such high wages that it was able to attract some 160 dealers from a rival casino.

The knock-on effect is that infrastructure that also need staff, such as hospitals and schools, cannot compete with the casinos, which in some cases are offering triple the monthly salaries — around 2,000 dollars — of a teacher.

“There is an imbalance; people are leaving state jobs for the casinos because they pay more,” said Albano Martins, a Macau-based economist.

Led by gaming tycoon , casino owners are calling for a relaxation of immigration laws to allow thousands of overseas workers into the city. Ho has said that at least 200,000 will be needed.

Indeed disaster is looming, as the government has to balance those demands against concerns of the local population fearful of an influx of foreigners. In a rare display of public anger, some 6,000 people joined a protest march against such a move late last year.

Stanley Hos Daughter Josie Ho Is No Princess

Hong Kong actress Josie Ho is no princess. No wonder she’s No. 8 on a Forbes list of 20 most intriguing billionaire heiresses. She is the only Chinese woman on the list comprising mostly Americans.

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Don’t get the idea she is a boring princess. In fact, she calls herself the “little black sheep” of her family. She is a rebel with an ultra-rich dad and an indie music rocker who revels in playing prostitute roles.

Ho has appeared in such award-winning films as Butterfly, Purple Storm and Twin Effects. Her most recent film, Exiled, which had Canadian/Hong Kong director Johnny To at the helm, is the Hong Kong submission for the Oscar race this year for best foreign film. A rock star, she is preparing to release her latest album in China next year.

Her proud dad, tycoon , has an estimated worth of $7 billion US. He admits Josie’s chosen path hasn’t always been easy for him, but he says she is trying her best and hopes she will succeed.

As for Josie, she was quoted recently in the Chinese media as saying, “Having a rich father didn’t give me benefits . . . Everyone assumes I’m just doing it for fun. No one believes I’m serious.”

Josie just lo-o-o-ves playing prostitutes. “I think it’s really controversial compared to my own background. It just makes me learn so much about a different class of people and what they do. It’s just a totally different realm,” explained the 33-year-old.

By the way, Ooi makes a point of saying that only truly deserving heiresses who have achieved in business, sports or the arts make the list. In other words, no Paris Hiltons here.