Catholic Archbishop Chia says casino not best strategy for development

Singapore -- Singapore's head of the Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop Nicholas Chia, says having a casino is not the best long-term strategy for sound economic development.

In a statement read out at all Catholic churches this weekend, he questioned whether promoting gambling is a legitimate role for the government, especially since a casino did not provide citizens with essential products, such as water and electricity.

He said gambling is known to cause considerable social and financial hardship.

There is the danger of exploitation of the consumer and his weakness.

And would undermine the work ethic and values of hard work.

He expressed concern that poor people would spend a disproportionate amount in hopes of striking gold.

Archbishop Chia also questioned how much greed was the motive for the casino.

He felt gambling was not reflective of a gracious society and that casino gambling should not be legalised.